Fashion Shows Where Kids In Care Are Paraded For Adoption? Welcome To Middle America.

Catwalk kids

Researching Reform

Featuring some of the most offensive content on adoption we have seen in some time, and stemming from a film called Catwalk Kids, this documentary highlights the practice of pushing adoptive children down a catwalk in front of prospective parents with a view to finding children in care a permanent home.

If the name of this 2011 documentary alone doesn’t make your blood boil, the short trailer will. Eighteen seconds in, and what appears to be a spokesperson for this embarrassing policy tells us, “We assumed these children were un-adoptable.” This is what kick starts a rationale which tries to justify placing children on display in order to secure adoptions for some of the most vulnerable children in America. The same spokesman tells the interviewer, “This is for the children. This is for them.” Not for the State then, desperately trying to rid itself of a massive financial burden.*

Unable…

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Gender Pay Gap v Gender Parenting Gap

Gender equality

Full-time male managers earn on average £8,964 more than female managers – that’s about £500 per month after tax.

Scots gender pay gap ‘worst in UK’

That gap steadily widens in the years after babies are born.

        Wages aren’t lowered for women who reduce their hours, according to theInstitute for Fiscal Studies, but by working fewer hours they are missing out on experience and promotion.

Gender pay gap: Trend shows women in NI earn more than men

According to a management salary survey, men are 40% more likely than women to be promoted in management. MORE

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  • Should fathers have equal rights in divorce?
    This Autumn 2011 The Ministry of Justice in London will publish its findings of the Family Justice Review to which I participated as part of the Partners Group who has contributed to this enquiry for the past 18 months. I have already detected a number of shortfalls, therefore I have set out my Version of how it should read from my first hand experience at entering Family Court in March 2004. My contact with Family Court Judges, Solicitors, Barristers, CAFCASS, Social Services and Police ultimately to the CSA and above all the impact this has on my Children for when this should have been ‘in their best interest’. Instead what I witnessed between March and October 2004 ranged from inconsistency to outright corruption. Therefore I embarked on what has become almost 8 years of research worldwide within input right across the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Greece and a number of European Countries. I have converted my findings into a frank and honest Blog and I regard this Blog as the defining culmination by this reluctant campaign.MORE

Question it!

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Researching Reform

Welcome to another week.

Ongoing failings within Family Court process have been highlighted in a recent case where judge, Mrs Justice Pauffley condemns, amongst other things, unethical private agreements between judges and social work staff, negligent child protection assessments of parents and psychiatric reports which are written often in a day and without even speaking to the family members whom the reports are about.

The case is so riddled with deeply embedded malpractice that President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, has promised to tackle the secretive nature in which agreements are reached between local authorities and the court.

Mrs Justice Pauffley said in court:

‘There was, apparently, an established but largely clandestine arrangement between the local authority and the court which, to my mind, has considerable repercussions for justice.’ Mrs Justice Pauffley added: ‘In public law proceedings the local authority is the applicant. It is not and should never be…

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Shamed Baby P boss Sharon Shoesmith’s ex-husband is caught with a haul of child porn – as she prepares to cash in on the tragic toddler’s death with a tell-all book

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My First Blogs in 2009

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The ex-husband of shamed Baby P boss Sharon Shoesmith was convicted after being caught with a haul of child porn.

Geoffrey Shoesmith, 67, was given a suspended 16-month jail term after he admitted making and possessing indecent images of children.

It comes as Ms Shoesmith plans to cash in on the scandal that got her sacked from her role with Haringey Council, launching a book called Learning From Baby P.

Baby P, real name Peter Connelly, died in Haringey, north London, in 2007 after suffering more than 50 injuries.

Geoffrey Shoesmith, the ex-husband of shamed Baby P boss Sharon Shoesmith was convicted after being caught with a haul of child porn

The ex-husband of shamed Baby P boss Sharon Shoesmith was convicted after being caught with a haul of child porn 

Geoffrey Shoesmith, the ex-husband of shamed Baby P boss Sharon Shoesmith (right) was convicted after being caught with a haul of child porn

He was just 17 months old when he was killed by Steven Barker, the partner of Baby P’s mother, and his paedophile brother Jason Owen.

The case provoked a national scandal after it emerged that social workers, police and doctors missed a series of warning signs that could have saved the child’s life during the eight-month period of abuse.

Ms Shoesmith, the former boss of Haringey Children’s Services department, was eventually sacked in 2008 after refusing to step down over the scandal.

It is thought that she was married to Geoffrey for 25 years but that the two split before she was sacked in December 2008.

The offences are thought to have taken place between October 2008 and August 2014, after the pair split and there is no suggestion Ms Shoesmith knew about his offending.

Today, a relative of the child told The Sun: ‘Geoffrey Shoesmith’s conviction is ironic given her role at Haringey was meant to be to protect kids.

‘The family is already very angry about her book.

‘What gives her the right, given how Haringey failed Peter, to write about it and make money?’

Baby P, real name Peter Connelly, died in Haringey, north London, in 2007 after suffering more than 50 injuries

Baby P, real name Peter Connelly, died in Haringey, north London, in 2007 after suffering more than 50 injuries

In the aftermath of Baby P’s death, his mother, Tracey Connelly, her boyfriend, Steven Barker, and their lodger, Jason Owen, were all jailed.

But it later emerged that Baby P had seen a number of social workers, police and health workers before he died, but all had failed to place the toddler into care.

A serious case review that investigated the conduct of social workers, GPs and police involved in the case found: ‘The practice of the majority, individually and collectively… was incompetent,’ and his death ‘could have been prevented’.

Ms Shoesmith, 63, has never publicly apologised for the toddler’s death, despite a damning report that exposed deep failings in Mrs Shoesmith’s department.

She even claimed previously that she was herself a ‘victim’ of the Baby P scandal, because she had not managed to find a job since 2008.

Last year, she received a £680,000 payout from Haringey Council after winning an unfair dismissal case over her sacking by then children’s minister Ed Balls.

Archive: Sharon Shoesmith wins appeal over Baby P sacking
Steven Barker, the partner of Baby P's mother, was jailed

He was just 17 months old when he was killed by Steven Barker (left), the partner of Baby P’s mother, and his paedophile brother Jason Owen (right)

Piers Morgan (centre) said many people would find it 'distasteful' that she was making money from sales of a book about the case

Piers Morgan (centre) said many people would find it ‘distasteful’ that she was making money from sales of a book about the case

Sharon Shoesmith reveals on Newsnight how she felt like victim
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Now she has been accused of cashing in on the tragic death by releasing a book on Saturday and even appeared on Good Morning Britain to promote it.

The book, Learning From Baby P, written after the former council boss – who now calls herself Dr Shoesmith after finishing a PhD – was part of her ‘academic’ work, she said.

‘My book contributes to knowledge about this whole issue of child homicide,’ she told the programme, ‘it’s more of an academic book.’

But former newspaper editor Piers Morgan said: ‘You are basically profiting from talking about the death of Baby P among other stories.

‘Many might find it distasteful that the head of the social services department on whose watch Baby P died is making money from a book.’

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Ministers and Children’s Policy – What’s New

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Researching Reform

Prime Minister Theresa May has made a number of important changes to the roles and responsibilities of ministers working on child welfare policy.

These include a wider brief for Minister Of State For Vulnerable Children And Families, Ed Timpson, with added responsibilities in the areas of children’s mental health, the pupil premium and the National Citizen Service.

We still think it’s strange that child welfare matters continue to be lumped in under the Department for Education, and spread out across other ministerial roles. It’s time we had a dedicated department for this work.

We’ve added a break down below of the current roles, responsibilities and who’s in charge of which area:

Department of Health

  • Philip Dunne Minister of state for health Hospital care; NHS performance and operations; the workforce; patient safety and maternity care
  • Nicola Blackwood Under secretary of state for public health and Innovation Children’s health; school nursing; and…

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Debate Explores The Future Of Legal Aid

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Researching Reform

An open event next month, hosted by Halsbury’s hopes to explore issues relating to Legal Aid and Litigants in Person (LIPs).

The debate takes place on 22nd September 2016, 6.30pm -10pm, and will be held at One Great George Street. 

Confirmed speakers to date include:

  • Joshua Rozenberg QC (as chairperson)
  • Sir Robin Knowles
  • Paul Yates (Freshfields)
  • Ruth Daniel (Access to Justice Foundation)

Questions up for debate will include:

  • Where are we on access to justice for those with limited income: how have we got here, and (most importantly) where do we go from here?
  • How do we ensure quality of service for those that receive legal aid?
  • If the future is maintaining current budgets, are there smarter ways of spending which can ensure this has a greater effect/impact?
  • How do we set up a justice system that respects and caters for unrepresented litigants?

This is a free event and hopes…

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