Social services have been in the news ever such a lot lately and the media always portrays them in such a negative light. We only ever read about the terrible "mistakes" that are made, we never see the fantastic happy ending stories. Where families make it through their difficulties and keep their children, providing happy homes for them or like in our case where children are removed but placed in loving families where they can flourish.
It seems that social services are damned if they do remove a child and damned if the don't. Hindsight is a truly wonderful thing and I am sure that everyone has, with the benefit of hindsight wished that they had done something differently in their lives. I am also certain that we have all made mistakes in our jobs, it's just that our jobs probably don't involve the safety of children.
I am sure that some staff within social services do make mistakes or are not very good at their jobs but we shouldn't vilify a whole profession based on a minority. Our experience with social services has been on the most part very good, the social workers we have been in contact with have had the children's best interest at heart, they are working in a highly pressurised environment that is dictated by the law. Children can't just be removed, there are numerous reports to be completed before a court can make a decision about what should happen to them. This of course can be good and bad, good in that it protects the family as a whole but on the flip side it could mean that children remain in dangerous environments whilst paperwork is completed.
Interestingly, I caught Thought for the Day this morning, where Ann Atkins shared her thought provoking views about the removal of children from their families.
We should always be reminded that it is not social services that should be responsible for the care of the children in our society, that is the role of parents, family and the community. Social services is there to step in when parents and families fail to take care of those within their care. When I think of how I am supported daily by my husband, parents, siblings, friends and community which enables me to provide, I hope, everything that my children need. It makes me wonder what support is in place for those who really need it. After all if child 4's parents had such an abundance of love and support he wouldn't be with us, would he?????