Children Services Directorate
Main Street, Biston
28th February 2011
Dear Damon Markham
I am dismayed at your response to my letter of 7th February 2011. You have arrogantly dismissed my concerns with an air of self importance and impunity.
Your letter is stunningly offensive and disturbing. Your department is tasked with looking after the welfare of children and yet you have behaved in a prejudicial way to terrorise my daughter. When I raised concerns gently and in a spirit of trying to resolve issues for the benefit of all concerned your department simply ignored a six page document outlining in detail a small sample of my concerns. Your department then avoided a meeting with me by circumstance or intent and no apology or even rescheduling of the meeting was arranged. Then, when I wrote to you expressing my concerns at the utter shambles of the Core Assessment process, I received a deathly silence from your department. Only when I wrote to you 74 days later on 7th February 2011 expressing my serious concern at the lack of communication did you make this remarkable dismissal of my previous
Your department stormed into our lives on the back of evidently prejudicial and malicious statements and grilled my daughter and me for over three hours in the hospital. Instead of understanding the predicament you then proceeded to continue the abusive assault on us with pretentious superiority. Your employees paid lip service to the unfair treatment we received but none of that appeared in the Initial Assessment. You designated Helen as a child in need as defined by the Children Act 1989 and concluded that her vulnerability was such that she was "unlikely to reach or maintain a satisfactory level of health or development without the provision of services". The action you decided to implement as a result of your findings was a Core Assessment.
That Core Assessment was not completed. When I raised concerns you ignored me. When I raised concerns again you state "...it was considered that there was a need for a Core Assessment which ultimately considered that there was not a need for on-going Children's Services intervention." Ignoring the bad English, if that were really the case then where is the final Core Assessment that "considered" further action was not required? Is it your normal practice to write reports and to keep them secret from the people concerned? Is it your practise to make decisions on incomplete reports? These are rhetorical questions because the answers are blatantly evident by your own admission.
The truth seems to be that you intended to continue your aggressive assault on us and would have written an equally negative Core Report. What appears to have stopped you in your tracks was a serious complaint from me. Given that you had no reasonable explanation for your abuse you simply terminated the process and did not convey as much to me. I do not believe your explanation that you completed the Core Report and concluded no further action was required. Given your own explanations two possible scenarios arise: you have written a secret and probably prejudicial Core Report which you now share with other agencies on your "not fit for purpose" ICS or there is a dereliction of duty in completing the action you designated was required under British Law. Both of which are unacceptable.
I want the issues raised in my letter of 22rd October 2010 addressed sincerely and I want corrective action as a result. I want the content of my letter of 25th October 2010 to be treated with the gravity it deserves. I want an acceptable explanation of the anomalies that have arisen around this "investigation" of yours. I want some redress for the significant inconvenience and distress you have caused us.
B.A. M.Sc. MBCS CITP