Parents Against Injustice
15/02/2010 PRESS RELEASE
FORMER PARENTS AND CHILDRENS CHARITY CELEBRATES ITS 25TH ANIVERSARY
Parents Against Injustice a National support organisation that gives
advice and support to parents, and carers who state that they are wrongly
accused of child abuse celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.
former charity was set up by Sue Amphlett in 1985, after one of her Daughters
suffered a fracture to her arm after falling over, the injury was considered to
be non accidental and the family were put through a traumatic child protection
investigation, with both girls names being added to the at risk register.
After such a horrendous experience, Sue was so incensed that she decided
to set up a parent’s helpline.
Sues daughter was found to be suffering from
brittle bone disease.
At its peak the group would receive up to 1000
calls a month from anguished Parents, who were going through Social Services
instigated care proceedings and the indignity of the secret family court arena.
PAIN submitted recommendations to the Butler-Sloss Cleveland inquiry,
after more than 200 children were wrongly taken into care in 1985, after
Paediatrician Dr Marietta Higgs gave conflicting medical evidence in the family
court arena, stating that all children had been sexually abused by their
parents. Later this theory was discredited by other professionals, some parents
were reunited with their children, but many families were left in limbo to this
Back in 1991 the Organisation won the right for parents to
attend child protection case conferences, via MPs and their private members
The group was one of its only kinds within the UK at that time,
and Sue became quite a celebrity with regards to child protection, and Social
Services issues, she would speak at seminars, both nationally and worldwide.
I became involved with the charity in 1986, after our three year old son
jumped from the side of the bath one night, and landed awkwardly injuring his
right leg, he was taken to the local hospital, where an x ray revealed a spiral
fracture of the right tibia, we were questioned by Doctors, who stated that the
fracture was possibly caused by non accidental injury, and that we were
responsible for afflicting the injury.
Our son was taken into foster care
after being removed from hospital by Social Workers, but to my amazement they
left our older son then aged 5 with us.
We didn’t know where our son was
placed for three weeks. After getting PAINS telephone number from the family
rights group, I rang, and spoke to Sue, she was absolutely amazing and within 2
days we were put in touch with a specialized children’s Panel Solicitor based in
Nottingham, John Atkinson was his name, and winning was his game, after twelve
weeks of hell, the powers to be backed down, and said the injury could have been
caused accidentally, our son was returned to us, and was later diagnosed with
brittle bone disease.
I was so indebted to Sue, and the team, that I
started to give advice out to parents within the midlands, under the PAIN name.
The Department of Health took the charities funding away in 2002 and the group
became non existent, Sue went to pastures new, but with the past experiences I
decided to keep the group alive and continued to advise parents over the
telephone and put them in touch with specialised Solicitors.
Single-handed I carried on with perseverance, until Chris Smith and
Trevor Jones became involved in 2002. With Chris, and his media skills, Trevor’s
expertise with regards to his campaigning work within Parliament and my advice
given over the telephone, attending court with clients, the group has once more
become a creditable voluntary organisation and continue to be of media interest.
The Group is now taking up to 25 new cases a day, due to the Local Authority
failings resulting in the death of baby Peter in Haringey and other vulnerable
children up and down the country, which has resulted in the increase in care
proceedings, which could possibly result in miscarriages of justice and children
wrongly taken into care and forced adoption.
We were recently successful
in the three year campaign to get the family courts opened up for public
scrutiny with John Hemming MP and last year I was a finalist in the Daily Mail
Inspirational Women of the year award. During the past week we have won two
cases, and have kept the families together, due to the professionalism of the
groups wonderful children’s panel solicitors, the day that changed my life
forever spurs me on to help other parents that are going through the same
We have such a wonderful team, and have taken on two new
volunteers, Richard Roper who is a breath of breath of fresh air with his legal
knowledge, and Yvonne Stewart-Taylor with her ardent communication and people
skills, after going through similar proceedings, this Lady ceases to amaze me
with regards to her strength of character. Ends
Left-hand side, Sue Amphlett. Right-hand side, my family in 1985. pain