For those that work in the child protection arena, what are some of the most extreme excuses you have heard from parents when they don’t want you to have access to their children?
When they are hiding something.
When it’s a family you already have concerns for and suddenly, they are not in school for a week, and you are given poor excuses why you can’t check on them.
During the lockdown I worked with many children that were classed as high vulnerability and trying to safeguard them without seeing them was extremely hard.
There was one girl who was high on my list. I was calling home every 3 days to check-in. I would speak with mum briefly and then ask to speak to the child. Mum would often make up many excuses as to why I could not speak to the child but every now and then mum would let me, almost knowing that if she left it too long it would cause even more concern. At one point I could not contact this child or parent for several days. I decided to visit the home. This was when restrictions were high so there was no way I could have gone in. But I was worried enough that I wanted to knock on the door. So off I went, full PPE, and I went to the home. I knocked and after a few minutes mum answered. AT first, she didn’t realise who I was, just kept asking what I wanted, when she worked out who I was she said I could not see the child because they had covid symptoms. I said I would risk it if she would just bring the child to the door. She said no. I said if I go home and call on the phone in an hour I want to speak to the child or I would call the police and ask for a welfare check.
And I walked away.
I went home and called, and mum answered. She was abrupt and angry. She put the child on the phone. I had spoken to this child many times. Something was wrong. The child was quiet and not really responding, I asked the child if they were in the same room as mum, they said yes. I said start walking to your room now and if you have anything to tell me say it as you go. There was a pause and then movement and I could hear mum say, “Oh no you don’t, get back in here” and the child said one word in a breathless whisper…
Biscuits was a code word I used with my most vulnerable children. I would ask…” Did you have biscuits today “ and if they said no …then… we were all good. And if they said yes…then we had a problem.
The mum had now taken the phone back and hung up
I just stood for a moment…feeling sick
I then called the police and explain the situation and the code word
The police attended and were so concerned they took the child to a grandparent there and then.
The mum and her partner had abused this child for some time. Lockdown had made it easy because the child was not in school, and they didn’t have to give an excuse.
This pandemic has put some of our most vulnerable children at risk of significant harm or death.
By introducing the new rules that if you have to do is have a positive lateral flow, no PCR and isolate for 10 days.
Just think about that
A parent gives their child a beating so bad that they can’t walk, or they marked their face….maybe they can’t even get out of bed
And all they must do is report a positive lateral flow and boom….the child is hidden from the rest of the world for 10 days. At least with the PCR test, these parents had to do something other than just say yes. They would have to order the test or attend a center and if it was negative…there was no reason for a child to be off. Schools could challenge if a child was off with no positive test. Questions could be asked. All this has done now is give a 10-day window of opportunity to hide whatever it is they want to.
Just get the test out of the packet…type the number in…say positive…done. The guidance states you can isolate for 5 days as long as they test positive on days 5 and 6…well you will never guess what….little Johnny is still testing positive so looks like it will be the full 10 days…..Soz
I am disappointed daily by the failings of our children in the UK and across the world.
But I have to ask myself, did anyone in government at any time think of the children that will be left exposed to abuse and exploitation by this “Just report a lateral flow” business.
Children go missing due to exploitation every hour of every day, some have parents that report them…some don’t. Some houses are cuckooed, or parents may have lost control of their children. Something that means they may want to be deceitful
This lateral flow guidance has just given abuses and perpetrators a get out of jail free card
And I have not heard one single politician raise this since it was announced
Trust me…I have been listening
Because when it was announced that we would no longer need PCR and you will just isolate the first thought that came to my head was…
Wow…the poor kids that will suffer for this.
My second thought.
All the victims of DV will suffer a similar fate.
So, what we gonna do?….pretend this isn’t an issue?…shrug and say….oh well…it is what it is.
Well, I won’t be.
I will be making noise and asking questions and making whoever will listen that this is not ok.
Who is saving the children of the pandemic from the danger the pandemic has caused ?