Transparency in child proceedings

Ms Chadwick made this Freedom of Information request to Supreme Court of the United Kingdom This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Sir or Madam,

Information regarding Forced Adoption to strangers is freely
available on the Internet and many families are speaking out. Many
conflicts of Interest can be found on this website alone

Could it be that parents and relatives are being frightened into
silence; there are so many links and conflicts of interest that
seem to be occurring on a regular basis, (according to information
placed on the link below). If correct, basically atrocities are
being carried out against children who should clearly be placed
either with their parents or at the very least MUST be placed with
relatives first, with equal support offered, as afforded to
fostercarers/adoptive families.

An industry appears to have grown out of children being trafficked
for profit, whilst support for relatives is virtually nil. The
Family Courts are hidden from Public Scrutiny, which could allow
professionals a virtual free-hand.(Approved media cannot be classed
as transparent) Many parents including Councillors are complaining
that children are being taken on the mere opinion of these
professionals and Judges are rubber-stamping ‘care’ and ‘adoption ‘
orders at the whim of the Authorities without evidence or facts.

1) What safeguards are in place to ensure a completely Independent
Public Service is being offered to these vulnerable families by the
Public Servants who operate them.

2) Under what Law and whose Authority, does it state that
grandparents and relatives are required to have psychological
/assessments comprising of in-depth social worker assessments, when
they are considered ‘good enough parents’ to raise their own
children by the House of Lords and Courts; with references to
support.Unless of course it is correct that relatives are also
considered guilty unless they agree to prove otherwise.

3) Are the same requirements afforded to the Judges, Social
Workers, Cafcass Officers ,Independent Witnesse, regarding their
parenting skills/mental capacity ;if not why not.

4) Many children are being removed on opinion of emotional abuse
alone, please define the Courts definition of emotional abuse and
under what Law not Act this applies.


Yours faithfully,

Ms Chadwick

Achow, Ann,

I am now out of the office retuning on Monday 9 November. My e mails are
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Ann Achow , Departmental Records Officer, The Supreme Court of the United
Kingdom, Parliament Square, London SW1P 3BD Tel 020 7960 1983

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J Webb (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

According to this there is no transparency but appears to be plenty of corruption going on behind closed doors

"The 11 MILLION children and young people in England have a voice"
Children's Commissioner for England, Professor Sir Albert Aynsley-Green



[A letter a dear friend of mine sent to the Judge in the Family Court,( edited to protect identities) the Judge used paragraph 4 to remove them as party. Yet he failed to answer when asked in Court what would stop children’s services coming after their own children if they failed ‘so-called assessments including a psychological assessment that the Council and Judge were trying to rail road them into.]

After our recent LIP experience of the Family Courts regarding contesting the ICO (at your suggestion), in the hope our granddaughters would be returned to live with their grandparents. We now have ‘little faith’ in either the LA professionals who unfortunately, do not appear to act in the ‘best interests of the children’ or the present system that fails to make them accountable for their actions.

It may just be coincidental that I was standing for election in November 2007 after I had complained to the Director of Children’s Services , on a separate issue and took my complaints to the LGO.

Apparently, we could risk being labelled mad or worse if we go to the press; yet it seems pointless to Appeal without the media.

Regretfully, our stance on being assessed has not changed for the reasons given at the initial hearing; having young children of adoptable ages and no belief in the CSW comment ‘that the SS do not canvas for work’ our family has already been destroyed.

Please do not think us paranoid. A continuous stream of high calibre news articles including award winning Journalists, looking into ‘children’s services’ alongside the UN investigation into our Family Courts, EDM’s signed by numerous MP’s and
Jack Straw’s announcement to allow the press (April2009); all suggest otherwise.

There appears to be a mass of contradictions/inaccuracies and double standards.
Selective incomplete evidence, (mainly opinion based) interpreted as ‘fact’ without the full information requested from September 2002 including ‘notes’ from both the SS and CG. A different criteria/ model supplied (non-relative assessment), which is neither objective nor subjective. And discerning to note that there is no record of us receiving £100 cash from the SS .

Ironically, a Councillor on the ‘Children’s Champion Board’ sort my advice about ‘children’s services’ and is aware of our previous experience.
Although I did not ask him, he seems to have attempted to help; I am not his constituent nor did I ask about kinship care allowance and our children are not known to social care or receive services.

Charles J in Re R [2002] 1 FLR 755 and Munby J in Re L (Care Assessment: Fair Trial) [2002] 2 FLR 730In Re R,

Relatives are expected to jump through hoops and endure fishing trips that were simply not required on the two previous occasions, when XXXX and XXXX were placed in our care, on the second occasion after an interview with CPO.
The LA may have been concerned about a possible Judicial Review and this may have contributed to why an offer of a mandatory referral for (FGC) ‘not best practice’ as suggested in Court, was not forthcoming.

D-v- Southwark LBC [2007] EWCA Civ 182
. Munby J Manchester City Council – V – F (2002) 1FLR 43

What is the definition of better than good enough parenting?

The House of Lords (2008) ‘grandparents only have to be reasonable enough parents’

“Innocent yet presumed guilty unless we comply - On the balance of probabilities?”
We probably have far more experience than many of the professionals involved, having raised 6 children.

Supervisory contact is only required we believe, if there is a danger to the children.
Being a XXXX/CRB checked with no previous concerns, it is insulting and degrading to be only offered expensive supervised contact in an unnatural environment. While our offer of contact in our home (with foster carers if need be) and Cllrs/Corporate Parents offering to be present, is ignored/rejected.
Whilst bizarrely XXXX & XXXX have been transported by taxi virtually on a daily basis from XXXX that is 5 minutes from XXXX, to XXXX approximately a hours drive by their first set of inexperienced carers; all at the taxpayers expense?

Where are our granddaughter’s Human Rights to a family life? Having been placed in foster care, where their well-being has deteriorated after being separated and passed from ‘pillar to post’ and respite care, instead of with relatives.

DCSF – figures suggest that at least 2 children a week die and/or are abused in care.

Research suggests that there are well-evidenced advantages1 for children who cannot live with their parents to be raised by relatives or friends:
Farmer E and Moyers S (2008)‘Kinship Care: Fostering Effective Family and Friends Placements’ (Jessica Kingsley); Doolan et al (2004) Growing up in the Care of Relatives and Friends (Family Rights Group); Hunt J (2003) Family and Friends Care; coping Paper for Dept of Health; Broad, B (ed) (2001) Kinship Care: the placement of choice for children and young people (Russell House; Hunt Waterhouse & Lutman (2008forthcoming) Keeping them in the family (BAAF) Dr Lynne Wrenndall, Charles Pragnell. Lisa Blakemore-Brown, Brian Morgan, Dr Helen Hayward-Brown, Bruce Irvine,
Dr Clive Baldwin, Stephen Clark, Cathy Johnson (2004) Taking the stick away: the service users’ joint statement

It is hoped that XXXX (babies are far more sort after for adoption and a marketable commodity) will be given a Voice Child Advocate, (the CSW rejected this in favour of the CG only).

The FGC Co-ordinator’s comment ‘ holding a FGC at a late stage “energises families” is insulting and worthless when the LA holds all the power and should not be advising family members that I must agree to be assessed.
The joint comments from the LA solicitor and CG who later offered to alter her notes? The LA solicitor told me ‘ the LA only had a duty to consider family members.’
If Human Rights and the PLO can be so brazenly be disregarded/ ignored, is it any wonder that ¾ of children end up adopted or on SGO with strangers instead of relatives.

The CG Solicitor’s remarks outside the Court ‘that LA Counsel could speak for me, or XXXX a passing Solicitor could represent me or they would adjourn and the Court would/could not allow my grandchildren to be placed with us on ICO’ (reiterated the CG comment) and meeting immediately after Court, with the CSW/Counsel, but not us. And the CG & ISW lunching in the Café across the road, all show how cosy the relevant professionals appear to be, hardly independent.

‘ Generally speaking, guardians act as cheerleaders for social services departments. They are entirely compliant, and seem incapable of doing more than being a cheering section’. Eric Pickles MP. (We cannot disagree.)

As Corporate Parents we should act in the way we would if the children were our own. I am appalled at what I perceive to be professionals who fail to act in a professional manner and seem to have no intention of working to reunite children with families. The public would be astonished at the costs involved and outraged that relatives are over looked in favour of expensive foster care.

Totally amazed that such draconian measures of removing children without a mandatory referral for (FGC) can amount to; crystal ball gazing opinion backed up by expensive reports paid for from the public purse.
How is it possible to review a past non event and make a decision based on what may or may not have happened if a FGC had been held, when it could/did not take place?

Children are not mere commodities to be passed around for profit; clearly everyone involved is being paid, (the larger the bundle the more costly?), which could be better spent on ‘real’ child protection and desperately needed front line services to support families to ensure that mandatory FGC referrals are completed; improved services.

I came into politics in order to defend the children of the poor and help make sure that families receive the services they deserve. Councillors are more aware of their responsibility to ‘looked after children’ and the CEO is reviewing the case following a subsequent meeting with the XXXX Leader.

The one simple thing that can never be altered is my granddaughters’ heritage, we are blood relatives, our granddaughters will always be dearly loved and wanted; this can never be obliterated. Hopefully they will be reunited with family members, who if given the opportunity could have applied (if need be) for a RO via private law.

The Court has the power to remedy matters and take the more proportional approach that the LA has not done to-date. Please take into consideration our views and concerns when making your decisions about our granddaughters futures.

Billy Watson (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Say NO to gagging orders, how dare they! We know its not in the interests of the child, its in the interests of the perverse judgments and scrappy evidence that could never stand up in a ‘proper’ court furthermore it could cause a public outcry if it ever got out. We’ve had enough of the injustice and the secret courts, this must end and it must end NOW,

Achow, Ann,

1 Attachment

Dear Ms Chadwick

Thank you for your e mail of 27 October which refers to matters
relating to the operation of family proceedings in Her Majesty's Court
Service which is part of the Ministry of Justice.

As the Supreme Court is a Non Ministerial Government Department and is,
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Ann Achow (Mrs)
Departmental Records Officer
The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom
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Tel: 020 7960 1983

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Ms Chadwick (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Michelle Chadwick.Grand daughters stolen by Kent County Council & Medway County family court

My Beautiful grand daughters Kianna and Tia my last contact with them 5th December 2008. I miss them with all my heart. Love you both so much where ever you are.

LS Palmer (Account suspended) left an annotation ()

Download a real life case study on how children are kinapped by CAFCASS through the secret family courts.