The website http://www.parents-protecting-children.org.uk has not been properly
updated for some time, nevertheless it serves as a useful archive for families
looking for material to support their defence against false allegation of child
abuse because child or family illness, disability, neurological difference,
mental health or lifestyle issues have been misunderstood and /or misinterpreted
by an over hasty child protection system which frequently lacks compassion,
insight and common sense.
The website archive, especially in the DOCUMENTS section, is of particular
interest to journalists, researchers and students seeking to understand the
myth of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSBP) and its alter ego Fictitios and
Induced Illness (FII).
If you are looking for up to date material and comment, please follow this
link to our Facebook page: PARENTS PROTECTING CHILDREN UK
Parents, Professionals & Politicians Protecting Children with Illness
&/or Disabilities beleives that it is imperative that nothing is done to
speed up adoptions or restrict the time allowed for families to prove their
innocence in the family courts, until the issue of false allegation of child
abuse has been addressed - otherwise very many more children will be wrongfully
and permanently removed from their loving but misunderstood families.
Clinicians don't like mysteries, Social Workers and Teachers don't understand
intermittent or unusual childhood medical conditions. It is all too easy to
jump to the wrongful conclusion that the mother is inventing or causing or influencing
her child's symptoms. There are a frightening number of false allegations of
MSBP & FII in families
where a child has a difficult to diagnose organic illness, maybe a metabolic
disorder in infancy or a fatigue illness such as Myalgic Encephomylitis in a
school age child. Sometimes hospitals are refusing to conduct vital diagnostic
tests on children, or to provide essential treatment, because there is a note
on file suggesting that the problem lies with the mother. These families are
then placed under surveillance or broken up instead of being offered much needed
support through a difficult period.
New mothers and pregnant women's notes are being scoured for historical information.
If any past involvenent with mental health services, however long ago, however
briefly and for whatever reason (eg temporary depression following an accident
or bereavement) is found, electronic alerts are placed on babies files. Once
'the first gossamer breath of suspicion'* is aroused, everything that happens
in the family is seen through accusatory lenses. This leads to tragic misjudgements
of these women, who find themselves intrusively scrutinised or even separated
from their newborn child at what should be the happiest time of their lives.
Some clinicians, therapists and social workers seem to be using erroneous diagnosis
of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and / or 'Attachment Theory' as a substitute
for MSBP or FII - this is particularily dangerous for families in which parent,
child or sibling has an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Psychodynamically / psychotherapeutically
trained therapists and clinicians do not have the skills and experience to assess
or understand Neurological Diversity. Many wrongful observations are made, which
if they find themselves in the documentation of the family courts become 'misunderstandings
which take on a life of their own' - often with tragic consequences for families
who find themselves torn apart for reasons which they cannot understand. The
secrecy of the family courts prevents confused and vulnerable parents sharing
erroneous reports with Autusm experts who could understand, interpret and assist
if only they were allowed to do so.
Inevitably there are cases where an entirely explicable childhood accident,
often the result of interaction with a sibling, is presented by panicking social
workers and clinicians as non accidental injury by the parents. Children are
sometimes removed from home for no valid reason whatsoever.
In a bid to encourage supposed independence, ill trained care workers are misunderstanding
the situation of vulnerable young
adults and making false assumptions which lead to the removal of these young
people into a care system which they do not
understand and where they do not want to be. One of these in North London made
headline news in 2010 when the young person was finally released and reunited
with the family. Social workers do not seem to have learned from this mistake
and there are others in the pipeline.
On 23 April 2004 (Hansard) Tim Loughton MP used my name and evidence of my
correspondence with Harriet Harman and other Labour Ministers, to berate the
then Secretary of State for Education for not doing more to stop these false
allegations of MSBP / FII and to prevent these children wrongfully entering
the care system. In the ensuing six years the then Government did nothing and
the situation got progressively worse. Mr Loughton now has responsibility for
adoption and has the chance to act to remedy the situation before it is too
Parents Protecting Children UK calls for a Parliamentary Select Committee
to investigate and report on the issue of false and misleading allegations of
child abuse and a suspension of any plans to limit family court time or speed
up adoption procedures until the select committee report is received and implemented.
Jan Loxley Blount, London, 6th November 2011.
(*'the first gossamer breath of suspicion' is a description used by the psychologist
Blakemore Brown in early documents challenging the validity of the diagnosis