Suffer the Little Children
Stopping forced separations of children from mothers in UK and US
Tuesday, 7 June 2016 6.30 – 8.30pm
Grimond Room, Portcullis House,
Bridge Street, SW1A 2LW
Kindly sponsored by Tulip Siddiq, MP for Hampstead & Kilburn
Guest speaker: Richard Wexler, Executive Director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, USA, and author of Wounded Innocents: The Real Victims of the War Against Child Abuse
Other speakers: Cristel Amiss, Black Women’s Rape Action Project Nicola Mann, Women Against Rape Anne Neale, Legal Action for Women Kim Sparrow, Single Mothers’ Self Defence Mothers fighting for their children
Suffer the Little Children – a Dossier by Legal Action for Women documenting mothers’ struggle in the family courts in England, will be launched at the meeting.
Following the US-model, forced separations of mothers and children have increased massively in the UK in the past 20 years, especially against those of us on low incomes, of colour, immigrant, teenagers, with learning difficulties … Sexism, racism, domestic violence, usually suffered by the mother, poverty, homelessness … all influence decisions to remove children from their mothers. Everyone knows that mothers are children’s first line of protection and defence, but this is increasingly denied.
Early intervention by the state in the name of protecting children has led to cruel and traumatic separation rather than compassionate support. One third of children report being abused while in care. It has spawned an industry which feeds on the attack on parents’ capacity to raise their own children. As “emotional abuse and neglect” have become a more common basis for intervention than physical or sexual abuse, the discretionary powers of social workers have dangerously expanded. In Scotland, the new ‘Named Person’ legislation is being challenged in the Supreme Court as it raises concerns that the state is undermining families by taking parenting powers upon itself.
A child protection social worker warns us about the government’s latest plans:
|The “undeserving poor” have lost their council homes; lost their benefits and lost their community services; why not make it easier to lose their children too?|
|But mothers, grandmothers and other carers in the US and UK are forming self-help groups and fighting back.|