Painful Times: The Emergence and Campaigning of Parents Against Injustice in 1980s Britain

We do things very different now to the old PAIN when Sue Amphlett was the Director of the old organisation.

That is nothing negative about PAIN back in the day, because without Sue Amphlett very valuable input, there is a very good chance i would not be a Grandparent today.

My three year old Son was taken into care by the Local Authority after sustaining a fracture of his right tibia after jumping from the side of the bath and landing awkwardly.

Scott sustained a spiral fracture with no trauma,

The powers to be stated that the fracture was caused by non accidental injury, thus the reason why they placed Scott into foster care for 12  weeks, for two weeks we didn't know where our Son aged 3 was taken,, and every call to the social workers was a no go, they would not pick up the phone to us..

After 12 weeks the LA and the powers to be backed down and said the fracture could of occurred by accident.

Our Son was then returned to us. six months later my Son was diagnosed with OI brittle bone disease.

Without Sue Amphlett we would of probably lost our Son to forced adoption.

Sue Amphlett put us in touch with an excellent children panel solicitor and also put us in touch with the brittle bone specialist.

I remember back in the day, i heard from my oldest Son teacher who stated she was going to a meeting with social services the next day.

I was disgusted that we were not invited to the meeting and the decisions would be made behind a closed door.

I called the social worker and said we were not happy about not allowed to attend the child protection case conference.

I was so demanding that in the end we managed to get to be there.

Back in the early 1990s, parents were not allowed in to such meetings,

PAIN through MPs and their private member bills managed to win the parents allowed in at child protection case conference 1992.,today social workers have a mandatory obligation to invite children of 13 to these meetings, under the clause of Gillick competence as well as all parents.

Social workers have to give the parents and Gillick children an invitation in writing about the meeting and give at least 48 hours notice about the meeting taking place, .social workers have a duty to encourage children of 13 and over to attend the meeting and organise an advocate to be with them .

Very rarely now do parents not get invited to these meetings, and a parent would now not be left in limbo for 12 weeks wondering where their child had been placed.

Yes a lot of things have improved for the better..

PAIN Advocates now act as Mackenzie Friends within the family court arena, for parents who are litigant in person.

This would of not happened in the past ,PAIN, would not of attended court with their service users.

We have been advocates for adoption appeals at the RCJ.

Our advocates also attend child protection case conferences, LAC reviews, and children in need conferences as an advocate for the child and the parents, something back in the day PAIN didn't do..

Sue and her team put evidence into the Butler-Sloss Cleveland Inquiry and has done some amazing working and managed to change policy to assist us with our work today.

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