[Warning: Once again the following paragraphs contain a disproportionate amount of sarcasm!]
I attended yet another meeting today. I was told, yet again it was a really important meeting. I was also told it was about the welfare of my children. I was also told it was imperative I attend, in order for my opinions and views to be heard.
“Welcome to the wonderful world of parental alienation!”
For those that read my last article I attended a meeting earlier today, I apologise for the feeling of repetition in the above opening paragraph. However today’s meeting was a really important follow up meeting to the aforementioned meeting.
All I can say is, welcome to the wonderful world of parental alienation; where every single important professional loves a meeting. But no single important professional takes any accountability in any of these meetings.
For those of you unfamiliar with my writing, I am what is known as an alienated parent. Due to contact denial by my ex, I have now not seen my children since summer last year (2016).
For those of you unaware of what parental alienation is, please see here for a more detailed description.
“So what happened in today’s really, really important meeting?” I hear you all ask?
Well, for a start I asked the eighth social worker I have come into contact with a number of questions. (Yes that right folks, you heard it right the first time, eight social workers!)
My first question was, “do you, as Children’s Social Services recognise parental alienation?”
“What do you mean by parental alienation?” Was the somewhat astonishing reply from the aforementioned social worker.
“Parental alienation, as a set of behaviours, not a syndrome. Parental alienation, as is recognised by Cafcass, do you recognise it within Children’s Social Services?” This was my simple response, beit a question.
At this point I did not feel the need to elaborate on the fact that Anthony Douglas, Chief Executive of Cafcass recognises parental alienation, but that his actual Cafcass practitioners do not. (I thought I would leave this battle for another day).
Evidence of Anthony Douglas’ recognition of parental alienation is in the public domain for all to see in his interview with The Telegraph, dated as recent as 12th February 2017. The full article can be found here.
“That article that I emailed you, did you have a chance to read it?”… “I read some of it.”
So in returning to my inquiry, an assistant practitioner who was present at the meeting interjected and asked me “what do you mean by parental alienation, as a set of behaviours?”
I directed the following reply back to the social worker “that article that I emailed you, did you have a chance to read it?” (A few days previous I had emailed the Social Worker Sue Whitcombe’s article entitled Parental alienation or justifiable estrangement? Assessing a child’s resistance to a parent in the UK.) This article is available for download on our Research Articles Page here. Alternatively, the direct link to the article is here.
The Social Worker’s reply was remarkable to say the least. “I read some of it.”
On further direct questioning from myself regarding Children’s Social Services lack of recognition of parental alienation, the aforementioned social worker stuck her neck out and went so far as to say “we recognise parental alienation as a term.”
“The level of potential malpractice and lack of recognition evidenced from today’s really, really important meeting was there for all to see.”
[I sincerely apologise to you the reader for my forthcoming expletives].
“Thank fuck Children’s Social Services recognise parental alienation as a term! Otherwise all us thousands of alienated parents out there would be well and truly fucked!” I thought to myself.
So there we go reader. The level of potential malpractice and lack of recognition evidenced from today’s really, really important meeting was there for all to see.
I did not inform the attendees at the meeting that I am actually an incredibly proud co-founder of Peace Not Pas. Nor did I inform them that as an organisation we have engaged with a recent Westminster debate that took place only two weeks ago with the aim of legal reform.
One of the key questions within this Westminster debate was ‘where there is no “evidence” of the non resident parent being a risk to their child, why can’t the courts – “the system” – order the re-establishment of contact within a matter of days?’ See here for full details of the aforementioned debate.
Dear readers, I apologise for the disproportionate amount of hyperlinks in the above paragraphs. However as someone that will continue to fight this battle, I firmly believe that being as informed as possible is an intergarl part of challenging such a flawed systems.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela.