Redd Barna Våre
9 June, 2006
Time wasting by a social worker
From the files of the NCRO
The National Child Rescue Organisation (NCRO) in Britain was run by Gerry Howard, now unfortunately deceased. the NCRO was very active in trying to help families affected by the Child Protective Services interfering in the family and taking children into care.
In the 1990s, the NCRO had a good web site which unfortunately does not exist any longer. However, Gerry Howard wanted the information from the website spread as widely as possible, and gave organisations and people in other countries struggling with the same problems, full permission to republish articles from NCRO's website.
Marianne Haslev Skånland
Mrs Humphries (we have changed her name for obvious reasons) is a divorced lady with three children, two daughters ages 16 and 12 and a boy of 9.
At the age of 46, Mrs Humphries married a much younger man of 24 and he then moved in with the family. About ten months later, Mrs Humphries returns home unexpectedly to discover her young husband in bed with her 16 year old daughter. She immediately has him removed from the house.
Within two or three days, Mrs Humphries confides in her friend who is a schoolteacher and, within hours, she finds a social worker knocking upon her door. She invites him in, makes him a cup of coffee and tells him what has happened.
With this, the social worker says he will have to return to "talk the two younger children through the experience". Mrs Humphries objects strongly on the grounds that the other children were not aware and should not be told. The social worker, a man in his fifties, insists. It is at this point that Mrs Humphries asks the National Child Rescue Organisation to become involved.
An NCRO investigator arranges to be at the house the next time the social worker calls. The two men meet and the resulting conversation goes like this:
NCRO INVESTIGATOR: "What are your intentions?"
SOCIAL WORKER: "I have to talk the children through the experience."
NCRO INV: "But they don't know about it. Why tell them?"
SOCIAL W: "They have to know their sister was sexually abused and that the same thing could happen to them."
NCRO INV: "But their sister wasn't sexually abused - she was a willing partner above the age of consent. What's more, it can't happen to the other children because the man is no longer living in the house."
SOCIAL W: "Well! That's what I've got to do! That's the way we do things."
NCRO INV: "So how long will all this take?"
SOCIAL W: "I'll have to visit once a week until they get to know me as Uncle George - that way I'll know I have their confidence. Then I'll have to break it gently to them and then I'll have to talk them through it so they won't worry about it!"
NCRO INV: "So how long overall?"
SOCIAL W: "Could be a couple of years."
NCRO INV: "So you are telling me that you are going to call at this house once a week to tell two young children something they don't need to know ... and then teach them how not to worry about it? And you're willing to call at this house for two years if you have to?"
SOCIAL W: "As I said, that's the way we do things."
As a result of this conversation, NCRO wrote to the approriate director of social services asking him to intervene. He did and by telephone thanked NCRO for drawing this "unbelievable" matter to his attention. The social worker was not seen again at the Humphries house.
There is a very good possibility that had NCRO not brought this case to the attention of the director, one social worker would have wasted 200 hours or more – actually doing a lot of damage to two young children. This is a typical way many social workers invent work that doesn't really exist instead of spending their time giving down-to-earth, practical assistance to families who are really in need of help.