A senior family court judge has criticised social workers’ handling of children’s cases, claiming there is “an increased pressure to intervene” in the wake of the Baby P tragedy.
Justice Sir Mark Hedley made the comments to ITV in a new documentary about so-called ‘forced adoption’. The programme is part of the broadcaster’s Exposure series, the same investigative strand that uncovered Jimmy Savile’s history of abuse.
In Exposure: Don’t Take My Child, due to be screened Tuesday 15 July at 10:35pm, the former High Court judge spoke about the “highly defensive atmosphere” that he believes has developed in the wake of the Baby P case.
Justice Hedley said: “There is a highly defensive atmosphere around, both in social services and in the state generally about future disasters like that happening again.
“That has meant, I think, that there is increased regulation, there is an increased pressure on social workers to intervene where they might not have done so in the past.”
He also added that “there is often a failure to think through the implications of adoption as opposed for example to long-term fostering or to trying to find a special guardian amongst the members of the family”.
Tomorrow’s documentary will examine whether social workers are increasingly prepared to remove children from their birth parents through so-called ‘forced adoption’, looking at the implications of large media scandals and the Children and Families Act 2014.
- Exposure: Don’t Take My Child will air on Tuesday 15 July at 10.35pm. For live tweets and reaction follow us on Twitter.