The headline and sub-headlines :
Judge blasts social workers for LYING under oath and doctoring a report as part of an attempted ‘cover-up’ over the future of five children taken away from their parents
- Judge Mark Horton said there was a ‘deliberate and calculated’ change
- Original report of parents’ assessment provided ‘positives’ and ‘negatives’
- Workers at Hampshire council wanted the children to stay in foster care
- Judge said changes improved the case for removing children from family
Suesspicious Minds has already checked its accuracy with the judgment from BAILII (A, B, C, D and E (Final Hearing)  EWFC B186) and written it up here – and he is rightly flabbergasted. This is not a wind up or a massive hyper-exaggerated summary of some run of the mill case – it is awful and shameful behaviour properly brought to light by the judgment and the media.
It is the sort of thing that parents fear happens all the time, and whilst I don’t think it does happen all the time, we cannot say it never happens.
Sadly, the negative outcome of the proceedings is a reminder that successfully attacking the integrity of your social workers can only get you so far. You do still have to be able to demonstrate your ability to be a basically competent and safe parent, which often requires some ability to work constructively with professionals (assuming of course that threshold has been crossed). So, as I say to all my clients – these things are important but let’s not get overexcited or lose focus on building a POSITIVE CASE.
As the 2014 guidance on publications makes clear (entirely consistently with previous case law), in these sorts of circumstances social workers should be named. One can only imagine that the findings made will have quite serious implications for them professionally. They both appear to be registered with the HCPC who are the relevant regulatory body in terms of professional conduct of social workers. As flagged up in the judgment / blog post there may be other consequences, such as internal disciplinary processes and / or police investigation. I will either blog directly or link to any post by Suesspicious Minds (he always beats me to it) as and when any further installments arrive.