Persecution Strategies in Children’s Social Care

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Advocacy-Fund (PS1 FOI)

Dear Nottingham City Council,

Re Academic Paper

Department of Social Science, the Psychology Section, University of Örebro

THE RHETORIC CASE

Persecution strategies in a child care order investigation
By: Linda Ärlig

Full text here: http://tinyurl.com/bm9lckg.

Taking full account of the contents of the academic paper
referenced above, please provide answers to the following questions under the FOI

A. Is the Council aware of this research and does it account for it in its children's social care practice?

B. In dealing with cases, what policy and practice has the Council put in place in order to ensure the protection of parents (and their children) whose children are involved in child care proceedings from Persecution Strategies being used by individual and/or colluding social workers (and departmental legal professionals) as described in Linda Ärlig's academic paper, THE RHETORIC CASE - Persecution strategies in a child care order investigation?

C. If so, how does the Council ensure such protection?
Whilst the relevant laws in the report are different in England and Wales the 56 identified Persecution Strategies in the paper can be summarised by the following be behaviours:

The authority knows best
Blackening the names of the parents
Making children and parents to appear in need of care
Pushing through and sticking to decisions that have been made
• Disregarding laws and regulations
• Destroying relations of importance to the family
• Influencing the reader
• Disregarding elementary aspects of objectivity

The use of Rhetoric, Withholding and Fabrication techniques in the 56 strategies results in biased, non-factual and inaccurate reporting as summarised in the following six groups:

Influencing the reader through language
Making the client seem pathological
Ignoring objectivity aspects
Exercising power and control
"The authorities know best"
"Feel-believe-think-experience- interpret"

D. When such issues are raised by parents, (allegations of
persecution including issues regarding factuality), that may fit into such strategies, behaviours and groupings in childrens’ care matters, can parents access trained, competent, effective and independent investigators with suitable forensic systems in order that a full independent investigative assessment of such matters can take place? Is full file disclosure available, and are the files reviewable before any determination of the case regarding
children occurs?

E. What training and monitoring systems are in place to identify any such issue?

F. How many instances of any allegations of such strategies being in use have:

1. Been alleged in the last year?

2. Been investigated in the last year?

3. From 2. how many were identified as evident by the number of cases of occurrence?

4. What range of remedies were then applied?
The Persecutions Strategies are listed below for your
convenience.

PERSECUTION STRATEGIES

1 Rhetorical strategy

2 Insinuating strategy

3 Positive-negative argumentation strategy

4 Negative reinforcement strategy

5 Negative synonym strategy

6 Repetition strategy

7 Hammer strategy

8 Multi-minus strategy

9 Contrast strategy

10 Strategy of selective use of words indicating
uncertainty

11 Generalisation strategy

12 Strategy of making trivial statements in a negative
context

13 Strategy of making the client seem pathological

14 Strategy of implying that the client’s criticism stems
from the client’s pathological condition

15 Therapy strategy

16 Strategy of making the client seem peculiar

17 Strategy of making the client’s behaviour seem too
intense

18 Strategy of persecution by use of the fundamental
attribution error

19 Scapegoat strategy

20 Strategy of calling attention to non-existent "facts"

21 Suppression strategy

22 Strategy of ignoring the client’s perspective

23 Strategy of vagueness

24 Strategy of gradually suppressing details

25 Strategy of using the impersonal form

26 Exaggeration strategy

27 Quantitative strategy

28 Fabulation strategy

29 Strategy of gradual intensification

30 Lying strategy

31 Strategy of presenting irrelevant information

32 Implicit theory strategy

33 Strategy of exploiting and exaggerating events

34 Strategy of collecting negative historical events of
little or no relevance

35 Strategy of referring to unspecified others

36 Presumptive strategy

37 Control and power strategy

38 Provocative strategy

39 Strategy of trying to accuse the client of lying

40 Anti-democratic strategy

41 Strategy of presenting insulting values and comments

42 Strategy of restricting the credibility of others’
opinions

43 The social authorities know best

44 Strategy of emphasising social authorities’ resources

45 Strategy of exceeding the limits of your competence

46 Moralising strategy

47 Strategy of justifying yourself and your actions

48 Strategy of stressing one’s own experience

49 Strategy of making vague references to experiences

50 Strategy of ascribing an experience to the client

51 Strategy of ascribing a negative attitude to the client

52 Interpretational strategy

53 Strategy of using strategic interpretation

54 Strategy of using signs as evidence

55 Strategy of interpreting everything negatively

56 Negative prognosis strategy

Yours faithfully,

Jane Clearly
Information Officer
The Advocacy Fund (PS1 FOI)

Nottingham City Council

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This e-mail (and any attachments) is confidential and may
contain personal views which are not the views of
Nottingham City Council unless specifically stated.
If you have received it in error, please delete it from
your system, do not use, copy or disclose the information
in any way nor act in reliance on it and notify the sender
immediately. Please note that Nottingham City Council
monitors e-mails sent or received for the purposes of
ensuring compliance with its policies and procedures.
Further communication will signify your consent to this.
The contents of e-mails sent or received may have to be
disclosed if a relevant request is made under current
legislation, such as, but not limited to, the Data Protection
Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000

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