The tragic case of Baby P as described on Wikipedia

The way Nottinghamshire County Council are dealing with my case makes me fear that local authorities have learnt nothing from cases such as the death of Baby P. Not only are NCC wasting time, energy and resources on someone who is no threat at all to her children (me), but, if they really do believe I am a threat to them, they are demonstrating negligence as, after ludicrously claiming that my daughters need protection from me, they have not contacted us for many days. Am I right to suspect that they do not genuinely fear for my daughters' safety and that the fact that I am suing them for what they did to me when I was a child in their care explains what feels like their persecution of me?

Hi, everyone.

I hope you are all well.

I am sorry I have been away for a while. I have spent the last few weeks trying to make sense of the past couple of months and, more importantly, spending time with my family, trying to restore normality for them.

Shambles – spoke in my absence

Various things have happened since I last spoke. As mentioned in my previous blog, I was waiting for the child protection conference with Notts County council (NCC). It was held on 9 August at 2 p.m. I forecast that it would be a shambles and that no one would turn up. I was right on the first point anyway. A lot of people turned up, which, to be honest, was quite intimidating and embarrassing. Apparently someone attending the conference wasn’t happy I was there, so asked to speak in my absence, so Andrew and I had to leave halfway through.

My husband libelled

We were all handed various reports, including mine and the girls’ health records. No one had sought consent from the girls or me to release these records. This is surely required, especially if they were to be shown to people who are not healthcare professionals. In fact, even my younger daughter’s school representatives were given copies! The school admitted that the comments made in the documents about Andrew being aggressive when visiting the school were wrong. The social services report had various other mistakes and inaccuracies which we raised with the chair of the conference. She asked us to make notes and hand them to her when we left. Andrew and I were not in the meeting long and didn’t really have a chance to say much as we were asked to wait outside until the end, which is when we were told we would be informed of the outcome.

Told of conference outcome in a public place

An hour and a half later we were told of the chair’s decision in the reception area of the building (not exactly the most private of places). The chair told us that both girls were going to be placed on a child protection plan as she felt they were at risk of physical harm, and a further conference will apparently take place in three months. I was furious and protested, saying that the whole thing was a farce. I also raised the issue of the reports being incorrect and requested our copies back. She assured me that they would be sent to us in the post, along with her decision and the minutes of the conference. She also urged us to make a formal complaint in writing if we were not happy with the process.

Breach of daughters’ confidentiality

We arrived home and both girls asked how things had gone. They could see I was unhappy and when I informed them of the outcome they too were unhappy. Both girls mentioned the aspect of confidentiality and how they felt their right to have their health records kept confidential had been breached. Laura said that although we are all honest and open with each other, and there are no secrets between us, she still had a right to privacy and, hypothetically, the records might have contained things she didn’t want to share with Andrew or me, such as the use of contraception.

Wanting peace, not resurrection of the past

I was issued a leaflet informing us of what happens next. According to the leaflet written by NCC, and also their webpage, the next event would be a core group meeting, which would include Andrew and me, and which would be held within ten days of the child protection conference. During those ten days we were informed that we would receive the chair’s decision in writing, along with the minutes of the conference and the social services report. We were also told a social worker would be assigned to us within that same ten-day period to check on the family and make arrangements to speak with us all and do an assessment. As a family, none of us wanted the intrusion, and I, in particular, wanted some peace to concentrate on getting better and back to work. The last thing we wanted was the resurrection of the past! Nonetheless, we prepared ourselves as best we could for the next meeting and also for the intrusion of a social worker into our lives. Andrew said he would keep his diary pretty free as the social workers don’t work evenings or weekends.

No contact from NCC, although daughters supposedly at risk!

We waited for the letters and phone call, and guess what? We haven’t heard a dicky bird from anyone at NCC. To claim that the girls are at risk and then not to be bothered to check we are all OK is an absolute joke! No wonder we keep hearing of stories such as that of poor Baby P, or the little girl in Birmingham starved to death! Fortunately, my girls are not at risk and never have been, but I am concerned about those children who are at risk and being left for two weeks without social services’ input. The whole thing is a disgrace!

Fighting for my career and reputation

During the past two weeks I have been focusing on getting back to work. My job is a huge part of my life and is a real protective factor for me. Due to NCC contacting my my employers and telling them that I was a risk (because of the access I have to various dangerous drugs) I was suspended from duty, pending an occupational health assessment. I feel it is inappropriate to discuss anything related to my current position at work, however, and, in any case, the suspension agreement does not permit me to talk about it. What I can say is that I am doing everything in my power to get back to work, and my employers are supporting me continuously. Mental health services and NCC, however, are not being supportive at all, and I am currently fighting to save my job and career as well as my reputation.

Conflict of interest?

I may be being paranoid, but I am of the opinion that if I didn’t live in the area that is governed by NCC, life would be somewhat easier. As it is, at the moment they have control over my health status and also my children’s lives, via their schools. Consequently, Andrew and I have decided that once I am back at work we are going to move from the area. My younger daughter, who is still in compulsory education, has asked to change schools and requested to go back into the independent system at a school out of our locality. I have made enquiries at the school she wishes to attend, and hopefully come September she will not be returning to a school run by NCC.

We also have decided as a family what we are going to do if social services make contact. Andrew has said he will speak to a social worker only if they are prepared to see him after 6 p.m. during the week or at the weekend, as he cannot take any more unnecessary time off work. Laura has said she is going to write to social services complaining about the breach of confidentiality in respect of her health records, and to tell them she doesn’t wish to speak to them. Jenifer has asked Andrew to tell them she doesn’t want to see anyone as she doesn’t trust them. I have informed her that she will probably have to tell them herself but, for now, Andrew will keep them at arm’s length. I have decided I have wasted enough time and energy speaking with NCC, and also feel that as they are the authority I am suing (for exposing me to paedophiles when I was in their care as a child) there is a conflict of interest here. Therefore, I don’t wish to speak to anyone employed by NCC in the future. If they need to speak to me I will refer them to my solicitor.

All I have to do now is concentrate on the future, and hope we can get back to normal family life and how we were pre-2001.

I will keep you all posted and, hopefully, my next post will be positive and contain good news.

Love and best wishes

Angela x