Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Over-zealous social workers part of problem

I READ with dismay the article about the 70% plus increase in children being taken into care by the Western HSC Trust (News, August 13).

No specific reason for the rise has been identified – other than, perhaps, the downturn in the economy.

Surely now is the time for our MLAs and MPs to get involved, ask questions and hold a public inquiry into what is going on (or what is going wrong) in this public service.

Could the problem be that social workers are over-zealous and abusing their positions? What is the breakdown of problems? How many children are in care because of physical safety problems? How many for personal abuse? How many because of no parents/ family to look after them?

And how many are in care due to "potential emotional abuse" (as defined by social workers).

There has to be an independent analysis of the reasons for social workers breaking up families and putting children into care. In difficult times, families need help – not decimation and torment.

Perhaps social workers could try to identify how they can help people and not resort to breaking up families. This conduct is a self-perpetuating plague, breeding problems for the future.

How much money does it cost to maintain these social workers? Sometimes, you could be forgiven for thinking that they get paid bonuses for each child they take away from their family.

JOSEPH BROWN

Newry, Co Down

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