Telling others how to parent

A High Court judge has criticised a social worker who took a child away from his mother because she refused to give him an ice cream.

The social worker said the woman was failing to meet her son’s “emotional needs”, and also highlighted how she did not allow him to get his hair to be cut “in the way that he liked”.

Mr Justice Mostyn, who is based in the Family Division of the High Court in London, said the social worker’s criticisms were “utterly insubstantial” and “obviously inconsequential”.

The judge said the social worker had outlined her evidence in a 44-page witness statement which was “very long on rhetoric” but “very short indeed” on “concrete examples” of “deficient” parenting.

He said it was “very hard” to pin down within the “swathes of text” what exactly was being said “against” the woman.

We’ve two problems with this idea that the State is in loco parentis.

One is the quality of the people likely to do the job. This is not just me being a gammon, those working in the front line of these sort of state services are not going to be the brightest and best of our society. The other is the beliefs they’re going to hold. Rather the point for some is that such state parenting – like state anything else, education and so on – is going to be determined by the “correct” views. You know, those they’d like to impose upon society and which no one will give the time of day to in the real world.

Our truly great problem here being that we also undoubtedly need some form of child protection because there are some truly appalling, even evil, parents out there. Thus, how do we do the protection bit that actually needs to be done without handing over the entirety of society to the ideologically driven incompetents? And that such services are run by the ideological incompetents is easily enough proven. Just look at the rules about race and adoption….

49 comments on “Telling others how to parent

  1. My wife, a teacher of 40 years experience, will tell you that the problem with recent generations of children is that parents no longer ever say “No” to them.

  2. A High Court judge has criticised a social worker who took a child away from his mother because she refused to give him an ice cream.

    Jail, please.

    Ironically given the current public hysteria about sugar I would have thought the Schutzstaffel worker would have removed the child because the parent gave the child an ice cream.

  3. “Our truly great problem here being that we also undoubtedly need some form of child protection because there are some truly appalling, even evil, parents out there. “

    Who often go unmolested by the State apparatchiks because they belong to a favoured identity group (a nutter off her meds killed her four year old then tried to bring her back to life by burning her just the other day).

    Or because they are scared of them.

  4. So what’s the solution? We already have separation of legislative and executive, which goes some way to addressing your concerns. All that remains is to speed up the judiciary, so that bad actions on the part of the executive get corrected as quickly as possible.

    The article doesn’t give much detail, but it’s safe to assume that the child was separated from his mother for several months. Even though the right decision was ultimately made, the process was the punishment.

  5. Better gammon Tim than womiccumalobus offal.

    As to evil parents there are a few. But with the possible exception of Asoka ALL fucking govts are evil to one degree or another. Because at their heart is always power seeking scum.

    I agree with Rob–jail for the bitch who thinks that the shite she is peddling is grounds enough to break up a family.

    And a Purge also. But in the case of the SS total shutdown is a better idea. They don’t stop child murderers very often and generally cause more misery than they solve.

  6. Due process. Unless the child is in mortal danger parent[s] and social worker should go before a magistrate and argue their case.

  7. @Roué – the parents probably wouldn’t get legal aid these days, so I’m not sure a magistrates’ court is entirely safe in respect of due process…..

  8. ‘Thus, how do we do the protection bit that actually needs to be done without handing over the entirety of society to the ideologically driven incompetents?’

    Government has replaced society. ‘We’ now means government.

  9. Rob said:
    “Ironically given the current public hysteria about sugar I would have thought the Schutzstaffel worker would have removed the child because the parent gave the child an ice cream.”

    That will be next month. The amazing thing about the less intelligent public sector workers is that they are extremely dogmatic, but the dogma changes regularly.

  10. It would be interesting to assess what the outcomes for children would have been if there were no social services.
    I suspect largely the kids would be better off, mainly because being removed from parents means being placed in care and thus at vastly increased risk of being raped by some council nonce or a gang of Muslim goatfuckers.

  11. “The quality of people doing the job…”

    One of the Blairite fallacies was to preface everything with ‘world class’, when the truth is most of us are pretty average. A couple of my aunts were in the social care business, and dealt with problems using little more than the common sense they’d derived from real life experience. Sans experience of any sort, most contemporary practitioners resort to a cut and paste of the stuff they imbibed in their third-rate university.

  12. The other issue is the perverse incentives which social workers face.

    Leave parents and kids alone, and nothing goes wrong (ie get it right) = no reward to the social worker.

    Leave parents and kids alone, and you get a Baby P or Daniel Pelka case (get it wrong) = social worker’s career is ruined.

  13. Bliar was the vile arrogant fuckwit who wanted kids from “problem” families taken into care regardless and in large numbers. With the results that MC accurately predicts and a vastly higher chance of becoming a career criminal to boot.

  14. Here in Aus we’ve got the opposite problem, a reluctance to remove aboriginal children from communities where they are physically and sexually abused in order to keep them in contact with their culture and ‘country’. The real question is: why? Aboriginal culture is a dysfunctional, Stone Age culture devoid of any merit. The best thing that can be done for young aboriginal children is to remove them from this valueless society and get them to embrace the benefits of western civilisation.

    Preventing this are weapons grade arseholes like this:

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/indigenous/whitefellas-must-stop-lecturing-indigenous-on-children-shorten/news-story/a76556a343c03ee26f310371779508d1

  15. more than anything public servants should face punishment when they cause damage just like the rest of us would.

  16. @ Tim
    “those working in the front line of these sort of state services are not going to be the brightest and best of our society”
    That is just *not* true.
    They aren’t paid enough because Unison etc lobbies for active trade unionists to be paid more than perople actually doing the work so it’s only going to be those who care more about the job than the money. One could say that those *are* the best in our society …
    As to “brightest” my wife occasionally reminds me that her college has won more Nobel prizes than mine (or France) and my little sister who is brighter than I had three degrees in Philosophy (London and Columbia, to which she got a post-grad scholarship) and took up Social work because there no vacancies for lecturers in Philosophy. My brother-in-law was a lecturer in neurophysiology, so each of them could manage financially while seriously underpaid relative to the demands and responsibilities of their jobs (there is a fair sprinkling of those with well-paid husbands – my wife commented that a subordinate used to drive to work in a Mercedes that cost a multiple of her annual salary – just as there was among those helping charities in my grandmother’s day).
    *Some* Social workers may not be among the brightest and the best but *you* should know better than to categorise them as a uniform lumpenproletariat.

  17. Additional comment
    A Social Worker CANNOT take a child away from his/her mother – that can only be done by a judge. Judge Mostyn’s criticism *must* also be directed at the local judge who made a silly decision.

  18. My ex-wife is a social worker. She tells me that Claire In The Community isn’t satire, it’s instruction.

  19. John

    @ Tim
    “those working in the front line of these sort of state services are not going to be the brightest and best of our society”
    That is just *not* true.

    Tim’s comment is clearly not just about inteliigence, hence anecdotal family history isn’t really that relevant.

    Tim is right though. Whatever motivates individuals – even intellectually brilliant ones – as with anything, you need to look beyond that, to the underlying culture of an organisation. That is where your problems lie.

    However much “potential”, they are not “the best” if culture quite clearly directs them otherwise.

    I could bore you (but will refrain) with the detail of two recent anecdotes from my local Council. One of the chaps even has an MBE (well deserved I’m sure) and is clearly not stupid. But the two exercises carried out have squandered millions of rate payers’ money, and achieve NO USEFUL PURPOSE WHATSOEVER, other than to waste people’s time in pursuit of CM cockrot.

    Bright, clever people, spunking money down the drain and wasting people’s time, all because of culture. I’m sorry but Ecks is spot on – we could sack hundreds of thousands of these people, and we would all be much better off. Some of these Council chappies might then actually do something valuable or useful with their otherwise pointless lives, and the populace could also then do more that is valuebale with the time (and money) saved.

    Ecks, please, get a fucking move on.

  20. One of my daughter’s Cambridge mates (caring, pc, intelligent, idealistic, in the flesh a pleasant human being) did the social worker fast track aimed at creating smarter sws, left before he became suicidal/totally cynical. Anecdote I know, but possibly an indication the whole system is rotten and requires demolition and redesign.

  21. @ jgh
    *ex-wife* – so is she serious or winding you up?
    !984 can also be taken as instruction – for most of us it is on what *NOT* to do.
    I took “Claire in the Community” as satire combined with warnings about what to avoid.

  22. My experience and the experience of friends & family members who work in the civil service/local government is that the breakdown is as follows”

    25% decent people doing decent work
    25% useless/skivers/bullshitters doing stuff that needs doing, badly (if at all)
    25% decent, well-meaning people doing pointless work
    25% useless bastards not even trying to do bullshit jobs

    I suspect the 3rd category is actually the largest.

  23. @ PF
    In the context it is difficult to avoid Tim’s comment referring to intelligence.
    You are bulshitting. When discussing the qualities of social workers as individuals it is NOT, repeat NOT, “necessary to look at the culture of the organisation” *unless* they are responsible for creating it. Ljh’s daughter’s friend was obviously not.
    You are just as bad as the lefties who ridicule “Lady Bountiful” who did lots to ameliorate the conditions of the poor for which she was not responsible. Are you going to condemn all the guys who left bequests for almshouses because their wives had predeceased them?
    Some people try to help. A much. much, smaller number screw things up because they follow bureaucratic rules without thinking and even fewer really mess other people up by trying to play god.
    You might as well say all private sector workers are crooks trying to steal from the state because one guy has convicted of doing so.

  24. @ MC
    I think category 1 is actually the largest although category 3 is significant
    I would add category 5: self-important persons bending the rules to make themselves feel important at the expense of the “client”/”customer”

  25. @MC – I’m struggling to get my head around how any category of four each having 25% can be the largest. Could you show this in a Venn diagram for the non STEM riff-raff perhaps?
    🙂

  26. John

    I am not bullshitting, and which obviously you should know.

    I’ve seen enough of this myself to know that the point I make about culture is perfectly sound. I couldn’t give a monkey’s whether someone’s relative is responsible for creating that culture (they are almost certainly not responsible if they are carrying out stuff at the coal face?!), culture (both directed and underlying) is very relevant to wider outcomes. If you can’t accept that, let’s just politely agree to differ.

    If your complaint is simply about SW, I’ll happily accept that mine was aimed at the public sector more widely.

    The amusing thing – about your unnecessarily disparaging comments (as bad as lefties – wtf!!) – is that I agree with you, wrt your comment on MC.

    OK, I’ve always considered category A to be circa one third or so, but let’s just pretend for a second that MC is not that far off.

    That would imply – and I know you’re an expert with numbers – that Ecks could quite safely take out anything between 25% and 50%……

  27. abacab, the magistrates’ court has not been a safe place for due process for as long as I’ve been in practice, and possibly forever.

  28. Following AC Grayling’s appearance on Andrew Neil’s show last night, philosophy has become a derogatory term.

  29. @DocBud, June 15, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    Re-written for UK:

    Here in UK we’ve got the problem, a reluctance to remove RoP children from communities where they are physically and sexually abused (eg FGM) in order to keep them in contact with their culture and ‘country’. The real question is: why? RoP culture is a dysfunctional, Stone Age culture devoid of any merit. The best thing that can be done for young RoP children is to remove them from this valueless society and get them to embrace the benefits of western civilisation.

  30. @ PF
    I was taking MC to be saying “there are four groups of comparable size” since he was obviously not a mathematician and replying in a formst that I hoped he/she would understand..
    Clearly *you* are not a mathematician – otherwise you would know that you cannot day that an entire class is X if you know that anyone member of that class is “not-X”.
    Logic is a requirement of mathematicians but not of PFs.

  31. John

    [ I know I should delete this, having returned from the pub / restaurant etc – you can slam me later! ]

    Clearly *you* are not a mathematician / Logic is a requirement of mathematicians but not of PFs.

    Sigh!

    I mean no offence, because I really genuinely do have a very high regard for you, but what about some broader “intuition”? (in the Myers Briggs sense?).

    re MC.

    Yep, it really isn’t 4 equal, but he never really meant that – he meant “4 sort of loose categories”, who knows really exactly what and where. You suggested 5, good stuff. It doesn’t matter, whether 3 or 5 – we are getting a big picture perspective. Bottom line is – and I think this is confirmed by all of us from our various different perspectives – there really is “massive” waste in the public sector? 🙂

    Mr Ecks..?!

  32. “Mr Justice Mostyn ruled in her favour, and said the boy should return to his mother and his care be supervised by social services staff.”

    So the department completely screwed up (not just the social worker but clearly there’s a management failure here), yet the department is still involved. Hopefully they’re above being petty, picking at things and wanting to find fault while supervising the mother’s care.

    Anyway, can’t the social worker be prosecuted for child abuse or something?

  33. PF – I agree with you. Stupid organisations turn clever and well meaning people into stupid ones.

  34. @phil… More to the point it just shows the staggering level of twattishness of twitter posters!

  35. Re: my percentages – what PF said.

    The last line means if cat 3 is in fact larger, then others would have to be reduced.

    Of course percentage estimates may be wrong and 87% of all statistics are fabricated.

  36. And John, apols if I offended you when I came into the thread (which it might appear from your early response)? As you know, I am often clumsy with words, even when I re-read them – more of a numbers person than a wordsmith!

    MC

    “We all know that 87% of statistics are simply made up”

    I have (honestly) lost count of the number of times I have casually lobbed that comment or similar into a serious conversation (always in context), and people haven’t even blinked..:)

  37. “those working in the front line of these sort of state services are not going to be the brightest and best of our society”: the ‘best and brightest’ was originally a sarcastic remark. So really it would be better to say that those working in the front line of these sort of state services are undoubtedly going to be the brightest and best of our society.

  38. @ PF
    I scored very low on “intuition” when I took a Myers-Brigg test yonks ago, so sorry I missed whatever I was expected to intuit. I am better at interpreting numbers than words [actually that’s not really true – I am *relatively* *much* better at interpreting numbers but absolutely words are easier – but that comment often gets the message across] so it’s not so much your weakness as a wordsmith as mine as a reader.
    Yes, I was offended *because* I sympathise with those unfairly accused (as do many on this site) and Social Workers are habitually pilloried by chunks of the gutter press for stuff that they haven’t done (like taking a child away from his/her mother that they can’t do because it can only done when ordered by a court) and for things done by “Care Workers” (even occasionally for things that the Care Workers were falsely accused of doing).
    I am not a Social Worker – I’d run a mile to avoid the job (30 years ago I’d have run a marathon to avoid it but I don’t know if I still could) – but those I have met/encountered (e.g. when my mother-in-law was terminally ill: she didn’t need any financial support but she did need help from Social Services to find people who could help with the housework, provide panic buttons, Oxygen cylinders etc) have all been MC’s category 1: decent people doing a decent job, in strong contrast to Planning Department and many other bureaucrats.
    It really is terribly arrogant of me to categorise anyone *visibly* more intelligent than I as being one of “the brightest”, but I don’t think that it will often be wrong.
    Sorry for slow response – I was trying to do some work and then my wife wanted help in the garden.

  39. John,

    I appreciate your response, and I totally understand with regard to what you say about people you know..

    FWIW, I know quite a few coal face in the NHS, family / friends etc, and what I find interesting is that those at the coal face (all Category 1 clearly!) are amongst the most vociferous I come across in their condemnation at the failings of the NHS! Obviously, they know it inside out. The institutional incompetence, bureaucracy, administrative waste, needless regulatory process, etc – all of which destroys value / QOS wrt to the end user.

    Many long inebriated evenings, and some of which I might struggle to believe if I didn’t know the personalities well. And include those that voted against Labour’s ludicrously inept 2003/4 GP / Consultant contract proposals – on the basis of morality (it was obvious to them that the government didn’t have the first clue what it was giving away) / not the reason they went into medicine, etc.

    Hence, if it’s clearer, none of my comments are intended to be aimed at specific people – going back to MC’s categories, few of us doubt that there are many good Cat 1 people, and the best ones are almost by definition (given the wider nature of flattish public sector type pay scales) often underpaid in relation to anything comparable in the private sector – but instead aimed at the wider organisational / cultural deficit, and which unfortunately permeates through much of the public sector, and hence can often end up seriously damaging the “total or end product”, all despite the competence, hard work and long hours of many individuals.

    arrogant of me to categorise anyone *visibly* more intelligent / etc

    I would suggest that this is a site where there are lots of bright / smart characters / many excellent comments. And from which I certainly learn a lot – it’s a key reason I make the effort to follow it!

  40. And, again, I do take your point about the success of specific outcomes (in the case of your mother-in-law, etc). But, if this makes sense, I suspect those that successfully deliver such excellent service might privately have their own stories about the wider issues they have to put up with / hoops they have to jump through?

    I am guessing, obviously – it’s simply based on what I’ve come across elsewhere, both wrt the NHS (above) and personally wrt work where I have been asked to help solve small scale problems in parts of the public sector.

  41. ljh

    If you’ve not read it the Winston Smith blog, it explains why social work doesnt work well. They*’ve misunderstood what being in loco parentis means – it’s about helping people become adults, not indulging their whims. I’ve included two links to specific posts that really make it clear

    http://winstonsmith33.blogspot.com/

    http://winstonsmith33.blogspot.com/2010/09/language-barriers-when-rules-are-not.html
    http://winstonsmith33.blogspot.com/2009/12/driving-miss-crazy.html

    *The morons in charge, not the poor frontline workers
    We should find the idiots who propagate this stuff and engage in Ecksian solutions

  42. @Ken… Winston Smith’s book, based on the blog, “Generation F” is an excellent, if deeply depressing, read.

  43. @ PF
    Yes, coal face workers in the NHS are almost uniformly good or excellent: I have suffered from very few incompetents, most memorably from a dentist with a NZ degree (albeit an anaesthetist failed to spot I had a dislocated finger which was diagnosed and cured in less than a minute by a GP who was a member of my father’s hockey team),

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