From Family Court, Social Services, Alienation and Abuse to the Beaches of Turkey…
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JUSTICE4CHILDREN : 2015!
Daveyone : Campaigning for Family Law and Child Welfare Reform WORLDWIDE!
Daveyone : Campaigning for Family Law and Child Welfare Reform WORLDWIDE!
Hey David – love what you do for kids. Wondering if I can get you to weigh in on my movement to end the norm of spanking kids>
Posted by Tom Swarbrick on July 09, 2015 at 13:37PM
A year and two days after the Home Secretary announced the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sex Abuse – through two deposed previous Chairs, the setting up and then dismantling of a panel – the largest public inquiry in this country’s history has begun.
The journey even to this point has been a challenge and this morning we learnt just how long and challenging the journey ahead will be.
Justice Goddard, peering over the rim of her glasses, spent over an hour explaining, clarifying and outlining the next 5 years.
The Inquiry will travel “from the corridors of power in Westminster to children’s homes in the poorest parts of the country, to hospitals, GP surgeries, schools, churches and charities.” Five different work streams have been set up in order to look into public and private institutions who are alleged to have discharged their duties to protect the most vulnerable. The military and security services will also be examined, with Goddard being given clearance to source any necessary information from MI6, MI5 and GCHQ.
As well as the four other panel members, Justice Goddard also appointed an eight-strong Victims and Survivors’ Consultative Panel: the people around whom this Inquiry is built. They will work alongside the main panel not just in the headquarters in Millbank, but also in the various sateillite offices that will pop up around the country to assist the Inquiry.
In order to get to the truth, Goddard has written to over 240 institutions ordering them to search out and keep any documents or material that may be of use to her. A national “Truth Project” has been set up allowing victims and survivors to give confidential testimony and what was striking from Goddard was her clear determination to hold to people, institutions and policies to account: “No-one will have immunity from scrutiny by virtue of their position”.
Not everyone is pleased with the format of the Inquiry, particularly at the lack of survivor representation on the executive panel. Goddard, though, couldn’t have been more explicit in saying that it is from those survivors she wants to hear in setting up a new website, social media profile and phone line so that they could get in touch. Help is also being put in place to support the many who will have to talk about the trauma they suffered.
And the numbers of people who may pass through the Inquiry’s doors are staggering. Estimates suggest that one child in every 20 in the United Kingdom has been sexually abused. Every allegation of sexual abuse heard at the Inquiry will be passed to the police with the Met already saying they are anticipating around 30,000 new cases.
£17.9m million has been budgeted for the CSA Inquiry for this year. The feeling is that it will only increase, but at what price justice? As Goddard herself said today: “Reducing the level of child sexual abuse in this country is not a choice between competing priorities; it is an imperative.
“Its value cannot be calculated in monetary terms.”
of 100 signatures
Members of the House of Lords who did not vote in the last parliamentary session claimed £100,000 in expenses, a report has found.
From 2010-15 a total of £360,000 was claimed by 62 peers who did not vote, the Electoral Reform Society said.
Members are not paid a salary but can claim a daily allowance of £300 if they attend a sitting.
A spokesman for the campaign group said the statistics showed the House of Lords was “growing out of control”.
Darren Hughes, the group’s deputy chief executive, added: “The prime minister said he regrets not reforming the second House in the last parliament. It’s time for him to act and finally fix our broken upper chamber.”
The report – entitled House of Lords: Fact vs Fiction – also found that 10 peers were responsible for claiming £260,000 of the £360,000 from 2010-2015.
The society estimates that if the prime minister forges ahead with plans to appoint 50 additional members of the Lords it will cost at least £1.3m per year.
The report also says that more than a third of Lords previously worked in politics, and more than half were over 70 years old, while only two were younger than 39.
Mr Hughes said: “This is not a chamber of experts – it’s a chamber of professional politicians.
“Our House of Lords looks nothing like the public whose decisions it impacts – almost half live in London or the South East, while there are just two peers under the age of 40.
“This is a shockingly out of date and unrepresentative institution.”
currently eligible to vote in the House of Lords
In 2012 Lucy fronted a media campaign highlighting flaws in the UK child protection system. This followed her own family’s experience of the system.
During a visit to a GP, to seek help with symptoms of depression, Lucy said she was worried about the impact on her son. Without meeting her son, a newly qualified locum, decided that the family might benefit from social services input. Unwittingly, this well meaning act triggered a full scale child protection enquiry.
Despite medical professionals giving Lucy a clean bill of health and evidence from other professionals that Lucy’s son was happy and thriving, the Council set about trying to build a case that her son was at risk of harm.
Alarmed by the Council’s determination to find their son had been at risk and the potential consequences for him, the family instructed solicitors. After a lengthy battle the Council finally conceded their son had not been at risk.
The experience gave Lucy insight into the way the system works in practice, the unchecked power of the State to intervene in family life, and the potentially devastating consequences for children and their families. The media campaign generated a huge response from families; inspired by their stories Lucy set up Family First. Contact Your Own MP
As British politics becomes more presidential, the structure of Number 10 matters more and more. David Cameron values continuity, collegiality and calmness in his senior team and what is striking is how many of his team are staying on post-election.
The word coming out of Downing Street today is that Ed Llewellyn will remain as chief of staff in this parliament. But Llewellyn will also be the Prime Minister’s point person on the EU renegotiation, a hugely time consuming task. Number 10 is emphasising that the two deputy chiefs of staff, Craig Oliver and Kate Fall will be taking on more responsibilities to ensure the efficient running of the Cameron operation when Llewellyn is absent. MORE
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