Monday 11 April 2016

Overhaul Needed Of Child Protection

Assistant Chief Constable Malcolm Graham has publicly questioned whether the child protection register is fit for purpose (the child protection register is a confidential list of children who may be at risk of future harm which is kept by the social work department ).

Offences against children are on the increase, largely because of the internet, and Malcolm Graham is rightly concerned that our children are not being given the protection they deserve.

Take a bow Assistant Chief Constable Malcolm Graham. At last, a police officer from Police Scotland who appears to be willing to speak up. I just hope that the reasons you are speaking up are because you are genuinely concerned for child welfare and not because you, Police Scotland, are ultimately responsible for preventing and detecting crimes against children (i.e. you're just covering yourself). I'll give you the benefit of the doubt here though.

I would like to add to Malcolm Graham's assessment that not only does the child protection register need overhauled but I believe the whole child protection system needs scrutinized and overhauled.

I remember many years ago I was asked to write a reference for a woman who wanted to become a member of the children's panel. She was a family friend who I had known for some years. She had decided she would like to do some voluntary work and had applied to join the children's panel.

Very admiral I thought.

I was a well respected businessman and a well known member of the community through the charity work I did (and still do) so she was keen to secure my endorsement and have me write her a good reference. I was happy to oblige as I had absolutely no reason to think that the woman was anything but of good, sound character.

She got the job.

However some years later, in a totally unrelated matter, I was horrified to see her take the witness stand in a court of law and lie under oath. I felt sick to my stomach that I had given this woman a reference all those years ago.

OK, I know, people change. Perhaps the decent person I thought I knew years ago had become...well...a not so decent person. Or perhaps I'm just trying to make myself feel better - kinda trying to justify my having given her that reference all those years ago.

Either way, the woman's evidence in court was dismissed by the Sheriff - he saw right through her. It was clear that day in court that this woman was most definitely not a good, decent, and honest person.

And although her children's panel job was completely unrelated and unconnected to this particular court case (the case she was giving evidence in was actually about a property dispute and nothing to do with children or anything like that), quite frankly I watched her lie in the witness stand and couldn't help feeling bad that my judgement of her character had been so wrong all those years ago.

I suppose I'm not the only person in this world who has tried to see the good in another human being only to find himself badly let down. I'm not the first and I won't be the last. Still, I could kick myself.

The point is, this woman was a member of the children's panel for a long time.

I wonder how many other decent honest people like me there are out there who have, in all good faith, given references to people who they genuinely thought were good people - only to find out later that they were hiding a secret dishonesty that we knew nothing about?

And that's why it's high time we called for a re-assessment of not only the child protection register but everyone and everything connected to child protection.

Be in no doubt, I absolutely regret giving that reference all those years ago. I still beat myself up about it to this day even though I have managed to come to terms and accept that I had no way of knowing this woman was of such poor character.

But how many others, like me, have also been taken in by charlatans like these?

I write extensively in this blog about the corruption in the police and the Crown office and the hypocrisy and danger they pose to the public by seeking to harm us while claiming to work for our benefit.

The police, the Crown office, Glasgow City Council, and yes, even child protection agencies, are not the only bodies who may seek to harm us while claiming to work for our benefit.

So we must speak out against them, even when it is embarrassing to ourselves.

All it takes for evil to reign is for good men to do nothing.

Yes, of course, I'm embarrassed about giving that reference to that woman all those years ago, but I'm fully prepared to stand up and openly say that I did it and that I was hoodwinked and taken in by someone who turned out to be not as trustworthy as I believed them to be.

Others need to have the courage to do the same.