Upcoming Events

Two interesting events coming up shortly:

The National Safeguarding Conference on the 23rd October 2013 at the Welcome Centre in Coventry.
FASO’s very own Margaret Gardener will be contributing to the open floor debate session.
For more information please download a PDF leaflet.

Progressing Prisoners Maintaining Innocence on the 16th November 2013 at the Archbishop Amigo Hall, Lambeth Rd. SE1.
Workshops, marketplace and debate with the opening speaker being Christine Glenn, Chief Parole Commissioner for Northern Ireland. For more information please download a PDF leaflet.

Revised Working Together Guidance

By Neil Puffett, Thursday 21 March 2013

An independent panel of experts will be created to vet the decisions of local safeguarding children board chairs under revised safeguarding guidance published today.

Children’s minister Edward Timpson said the guidance will help professionals to keep children safe.

The overhauled Working Together guidance, which comes into effect on 15 April, reveals that the new national panel will advise local safeguarding children boards (LSCBs) on when a serious case review should take place and when they are required to publish reports.

The guidance says LSCBs should “have regard” to the panel’s advice when making decisions about serious case reviews.

Meanwhile, local authority social workers will be expected to conduct an assessment of a child and make a decision about the type of response that is required within one working day of a referral being received.

The guidance also removes the requirement to have separate initial and core assessments and the 10-day timescale for completing initial assessments.

However, it retains the timescale of 45 working days as the maximum time for an assessment to be completed.

The government has said that removing the requirement for separate initial and core assessments will make assessment a “continuous process? rather than “stop start?

Children’s minister Edward Timpson said the guidance will support professionals to take the “right decisions and the right action to promote the welfare of children and keep them safe?

“Today’s guidance makes absolutely clear the core legal requirements on all organisations and individuals working with children to promote their welfare and keep them safe,?he said.

“We expect professionals to use the guidance, along with their expertise and judgment, to tailor support to individual children and families.”

Eileen Munro, whose review of child protection prompted the revision of the guidance, said the changes mark an “important step?in reforming the “confusing, prescriptive culture that has ruled professionals working with children?

“One of the most important recommendations in my report ?to have guidance focusing on the core legal rules ?was so those working to protect the welfare and needs of children can start to regain control of their practice while working within a clear framework so that different agencies know what to expect of each other.

“Today’s announcement should give all those reforming frontline work with children the clarity and confidence to take those reforms forward.?/p>

Debbie Jones, president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, said returning decision making to those who are professionally accountable, rather than following process and prescriptive procedures, is the right thing to do.

However she expressed concerns over the plan for an expert panel to monitor LSCBs, describing it as “an unnecessary bureaucratic intervention?that could interfere with the independence of LSCB chairs.

Typical
Joe Brown wrote: 22 Mar 2013

This review will increase bureaucracy for LSCBs, reduces their independence and removes critical; guidance offered previously within Appendix 5.

This will mean nervous decision-making, buck-passing and the creation of a blame culture.

Another Tory fudge, leaving issues of role and responsibilities of employers and LADO wide open to interpretation.

No mention of the important roles duties and responsibilities in terms for voluntary, sporting groups.

Unhelpful and rubbish!!

Voluntary organisation slams CPS

The False Allegation Support Organisation (FASO)1, a charity that that for the past twelve years has run a support service for those falsely accused of rape and domestic abuse has accused the Crown Prosecution Service of deliberately failing to tell the whole story about this subject following the publication of their report last week.

The charity currently receives over 2,700 calls per year from those needing support and believes by trying to downplay this issue and sweep it under the carpet they are both ignoring the devastation that false allegations make to those accused but also the damage it does to those who are victims of domestic abuse or rape.

The report called ‘Under The Spotlight’ launched by the Director of Public Prosecutions (Kier Starmer) between January 2011 and May 2012 there were only 35 people prosecuted for making false allegations of rape and six for domestic abuse.

The charity believes this paints a deliberately misleading picture because the figures do not take into account false allegations that are made but either the police do not put forward to the CPS for prosecution, or when they do the CPS decide not to take forward to trial.

Hundreds of victims a year who contact the organisations helpline say that when they have asked the police to prosecute because they were falsely accused and the police agreed (often by dropping the case), the police state that it is “too much trouble” to prosecute the false accuser for perverting the course of justice. The police, CPS, Justice Department or Government Statistical Department do not keep the statistics as they have said they are too difficult to collect.

Margaret Gardener, Director of False Allegations Support Organisation, said: “We know rape and domestic abuse destroys lives but false allegations do too and it is a shame that the director of public prosecutions chose to give a false picture of the devastation to the lives of those wrongly accused. This is made even worse when their names are in the media, or they are arrested in front of family or work colleagues only to see the allegations be shown to be false.

“For the director of public prosecution to tell only part of the story and deliberately only look at those the CPS take forward and ignore those that are not taken forward is a failure in his duty to treat all victims of crime equally. A person falsely accused is a victim as well.

“I will be writing to him this week, to ask him to spend a day with me and my fellow volunteers so he can see for himself how false allegations destroy lives ?perhaps he will then take it more seriously.”

Many children are also affected by these allegations either being party to the acrimony, experiencing abuse by piers or denied their rights through social services child protection procedures, to see their accused parent/carer, when the parent/carer has been falsely accused, as known or witnessed by the child and others and had their case dropped.

You can read the report online as a PDF here.

Notes to Editors

The False Allegations Support Organisation (http://dev.false-allegations.org.uk//) is a UK organisation, run by volunteers, for the past 12 years. We are a refuge for the innocent, not a safe house for abusers in denial. Of its total calls in 2012 of 2761 (BT figures) it responded to 640. That is besides the e-mails from family and friends and letters from prisoner’s we receive.
The report is called “Under the spotlight: perverting the course of justice and wasting police time in cases involving allegedly false rape and domestic violence allegation” – http://www.cps.gov.uk/news/press_releases/under_the_spotlight/
To contact FASO, please call Margaret Gardener on 07909732031 or helpline 0144 335 1992 and email support@false-allegations.org.uk

Social workers urged to re-register with regulator

Article from http://www.cypnow.co.uk/cyp/news/1075830/social-workers-urged-register-regulator

Make sure your current social worker is registered, contact FASO for leaflet C5 (English) and C5a (Welsh) telling you how.

The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) has issued a plea to thousands of social workers to re-register by the end of the month.

Social workers not registered with the HCPC are not allowed to practise. Image: Arlen Connelly/posed by models
The call comes after the regulator revealed that 8,425 social workers failed to renew their registration by its deadline of 2 January. Those that did not renew their registration are not allowed to practise as social workers in England until they re-register.

The HCPC does not hold data on how many of those who failed to renew are working with children and young people. But figures from the Centre for Workforce Intelligence suggest that local authorities in the UK employ approximately 22,000 children? social workers.


The HCPC said that those who register by February 1 will not incur extra costs above the standard ñ52 two-year registration fee. But anyone re-registering after this date will face a fee of ò67, which includes a ñ15 ?dministration cost?due to the extra paperwork involved, an HCPC spokeswoman said.

The HCPC spokeswoman said: ?ot all of those who did not renew their registration will have to do so.

?ome did not because they have retired, some have perhaps moved into management roles, but there will be some that failed to do so and need to ensure they re-register so that they can practise.

?here we have their employment details their employers have been written to so they can ensure they are not practising social work.?r

The HCPC took on responsibility for registering social workers when the General Social Care Council (GSCC) was closed last year.

A College of Social Work spokeswoman argued that the number of social workers who did re-register is ?ctually fairly high? since many who were on the GSCC? books were not practising and therefore not required to register with the new body.

She said: ?ome people kept their registration live in case they moved back into practising social work. And some others who were in senior roles, or had retired, chose to be registered as a mark of their pride in being part of the profession.

?t is not particularly surprising that some of these people have chosen not to transfer their registration.?r

In total 80,049 social workers have renewed their registration with the HCPC. This represents 90.5 per cent of the profession.

BBC Looking for Wrongly Accused

BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat is preparing a news story relating to young women being prosecuted for making false rape allegations. At this point, that is all I can share in a public forum like this, but I am happy to speak directly to anyone who would like to know more. We are looking to speak to a young man (16-26yrs) who has first-hand experience of being involved in this distressing and difficult situation.

We fully understand some men may be hesitant in offering to take part. To those we would say, firstly, this is an important issue for our 12 million young listeners and a topic which deserves to be covered in a sensitive and factual way. Secondly, we can, as we often do, guarantee a contributors complete anonymity.

Take for example a recent story we did on a similarly difficult and sensitive topic: www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/19229419

It is always difficult to have these conversations online, and so I would encourage anyone who would like to learn more to contact me directly and we can speak. There will be no obligation to take part after that. My email is declan.harvey@bbc.co.uk Kindest thanks, Declan.

Teacher suspected of abuse given anonymity

Editor Telegraph
Via web
Dear editor
Reference ?Teacher suspected of abuse given anonymity
With reference to your article on Fri 28th Sep 2012 by Graeme Paton and Martin Evans

Graham Stuart chair of the Commons Education Select Committee, along with the committee have been able to amend the 2011 Education Act, commencing 1st October 2012 to bring a degree of anonymity of sexual offences to teachers, and anyone who names a teacher ?subject of a criminal allegation made by or on behalf of a child, could face prosecution or a £5k fine.

That is all well and good, and about time, but what has happened to the protection of the rest of society all walks of life and who have also had allegations of a sexual nature ?why are they not also to be allowed anonymity until trial, thus protecting, until trial the children, partners and wider family of the accused.

It is good that the education committee have a partial success in bringing this law ?the item that highlighted this new law, in Fridays Telegraphs news, is that of the adult teacher and a student at the school, who went missing. Fortunately both have been found and apprehended.

Why are the two issues in conflict? ?common sense says, and should be reflected in legislation, that if a teacher (or any adult) goes away with a pupil/child/vulnerable adult whether in there care or not, should then forfeit anonymity in order to have media coverage in order that the child’s welfare is checked.

FASO have been here for the past 11 years and are here to support those who are factually falsely accused and last year had over 3000 calls to our helpline a great number of which dealt with false allegations of abuse/sex allegations. We helped callers and their families through their distress and vilification which families suffer whilst the accused awaits court proceedings.
Regards

Margaret Gardener support@false-allegations.org.uk