First, They Ignore You….

Then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. Gandhi

Over the years I have written many letters and emails to politicians, MPs, Senators, Congressmen, Legislators and Ministers. Many people say this is a waste of time, sometimes you get a reply and its rare that your efforts will get any result. I say do it anyway, there is a method to my madness.

If you carefully use the system to your advantage, you can put these people on notice of a problem or impending problem. Usually when a problem is exposed, the people who should have known better and prevented it, will be the first to plead ignorance and pretend they knew nothing. When the story emerges they will plead they knew nothing, but you have proof that they did know because you had informed them.

They will ignore you, but at their own peril. If they choose to ridicule you or fight you, at least your side of the story is coming out. In Ireland, it is virtually impossible to get accurate information and statistics. The secrecy with which the system operates allows the system to hide behind the law. In Ireland when a group of people protested the deaths of children in State “Care”, the Minister for Children asked the Child and Family Agency for a report on the deaths. The Minister was told this was none of his business, which technically was true. The Minister is not entitled to know about any case before the courts. This is still true today, so you have a situation where the top person in charge is oblivious of what the people in her department are doing.  There is no “Leadership” at the upper levels because the system and the law intended to protect the children involved also prevents any scrutiny and exposure of wrongdoing.

I advise people to complain to CPS. Many will say this is pointless because CPS will investigate CPS. I helped make a complaint against a manager and the person who investigated was the manager himself. Essentially the manager investigated investigated himself and found himself innocent of any wrongdoing. Later in court, the judge was handed the complaint and the findings by the manager. The fact the complainant followed the process completely turned the case around. The judge saw through the deception and could see that CPS were putting their own interest before the interests of the child. The system is a; “Self Protecting Ecosystem”.

One thing that has come up a lot lately is children showing up to “Contact” with obvious injuries. When the parent asks how the injuries occurred, they are told not to ask and not to pursue the matter as they are emotionally abusing the child and causing them emotional distress. Let me be very clear. If your child shows up with injuries, you must immediately call the Police to investigate. Under the laws of Ireland the Gardai (Irish Police), have the right to remove any child from anywhere if they reasonably believe the child to be in danger. The only caveat is that the danger to the child must be established. This is covered under Section 12 of the Childcare Act. Most countries have similar legislation. In any case, if there is evidence of abuse, regardless of the perpetrator, Police must investigate.

I know many parents who’s children died in State “Care”. All of them would advise you to call the Police if your child shows up with any evidence of injury. I know of cases where children died of neglect because their “Carers” didn’t act responsibly. I know of very few cases where these “Carers” were held accountable, mostly because of the secrecy involved.

Use every opportunity available to you. You have to play their game, on their turf by their rules but you can still beat them with their own incompetence. Make every report to every State Body and make sure you do it within the allowed time-frame, usually a year in most cases with few exceptions. Occasionally, someone will listen and champion your cause. When this happens, you will win your case because they fought you and lost.

If CPS and “Care” is ever to be reformed, it will only be because people fought for accountability.

Joe

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