Once again the police act as shock troops for social workers.
In all my stories about the disturbing workings of the system supposedly designed to protect our children from harm, I have come across few odder than the events of last Monday. A mother and her 14-year-old daughter, I am told, jointly applied to a judge for the girl to be allowed to return home, where she has wanted to be ever since being taken into care last year. Nine months ago, she was subjected to repeated serious assaults by a friend of her foster family. This was investigated by the police, who recorded it as a case of statutory assault but took no further action. The girl was moved to a more responsible foster mother, and was allowed, with the knowledge of her social workers, to make regular unsupervised visits to her mother nearby.
On Monday, when the application for discharge of her care order was rejected, the girl was very upset. She went round to her mother, who rang the foster mother to say that her daughter would return in an hour or two when she had calmed down. On advice from the girl’s solicitor, she also rang the police to say where her daughter was and that she was at no risk of harm.