Friends of Refugees

A U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program Watchdog Group

UK refugees flee police & tyrannical social workers

Posted by Christopher Coen on November 15, 2010

It turns out that refugees are not just those who flee from oppressive third world regimes but also those who flee from oppression in industrialized western countries. According to an article in the Telegraph publication citizens in the UK are fleeing from overzealous, heavy-handed social workers. One family recently landed in Cyprus after protective services took their daughter away from them simply because they had a verbal fight in hearing range of the child. The woman then had a miscarriage due to the stress of separation from her daughter, and when she became pregnant again she fled when she heard that the social workers would take the baby away upon birth.

…Roger and Carol lived happily in Doncaster with their five-year-old daughter. One day last November they had a marital disagreement, involving no more than raised voices. They were overheard by a neighbour who called the police. The couple were arrested and held for nine hours before being released without charge. But the police had summoned the social workers to remove the child, who had not been harmed in any way other than hearing her parents having a row – as countless children do every day.

The social workers obtained an interim care order, on the grounds that the child was “at risk of emotional harm”, and gave her to Roger’s parents, both of whom have worked for the police. Relations were amicable, but the grandparents insisted on working closely with the social workers. The parents were only allowed contact with their daughter in a filthy little “contact room” in the local social services office. As is usual, the parents were told that if they showed any emotion their contact would be stopped. In February, under this strain, Carol had a miscarriage.

Last June, puzzled at why the interim care order had not been renewed as the law requires, Carol called the court. She was told that the order had lapsed three months earlier. When her husband confirmed this by a second call to the court, Carol drove to her in-laws’ home to explain that there was no longer any legal reason why her daughter could not be returned to her. Her mother-in-law protested, but the child was so overjoyed to go home that she ran to get into her mother’s car. The mother-in-law stood in front of the car but Carol reversed and drove off.

When her daughter said she was hungry, they stopped at a motorway service station. The grandmother had alerted the police, the car number was picked up by a camera and before long Carol (who was pregnant again) was arrested, handcuffed and pushed into a police van. At the police station, she collapsed and was taken to hospital. Next day she was driven back to Doncaster and interviewed four times. The police confirmed there was no care order in place but, to her astonishment, Carol was told she would be charged with assaulting her mother-in-law, although there had been no physical contact between them. She was released after midnight.

When the social workers applied for a new care order, the judge reproved their “slipshod work” but granted the order on the grounds that Carol had taken back her child “without thought”.

Before the next hearing, the parents’ solicitors advised them to undergo psychological assessments. The psychologist found nothing wrong with Carol, but Roger had “narcissistic personality traits”. They then underwent a second assessment, based on “true or false” responses to 170 statements (such as: “Last week I flew the Atlantic eight times”). This time, Roger was normal, but Carol showed “high probability of being a borderline alcoholic” – though she hardly ever drinks.

Eventually, the court ruled they could have no further contact with their child. In September, Carol was in court to face the assault charges. The magistrates found, by two to one, that though there was no direct evidence she had assaulted her mother-in-law, she had been “emotional” in court which indicated the “possibility” that she might have been similarly emotional during the confrontation. They therefore found her guilty, ordering her to return for sentencing in October.

Two days later, it transpired that the hospital she had visited for ante-natal tests had told the social workers she was pregnant. Her daughter’s guardian told her that, when the baby was born, the social workers would seize it. At this point, Carol decided she could take no more. “I had already lost one child,” she says. “I had suffered a miscarriage of justice. After all I had been through, there was no way I was going to lose another child.”…

…She discovered that a possible escape route was Northern Cyprus, which has no extradition agreement with the UK… Read more here

I don’t really doubt this story at all after the ten years I have assisted refugees and having dealt with some incompetent social workers as well as the knuckleheadedness of some of our government agencies and courts. For example, read this account of a young Liberian refugee woman’s experiences in Fargo. If it happens in the US then I have no doubt its also happening in the UK and elsewhere.

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