The torture and murder of 6 year old Arthur.

Altair

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Nature V's Nurture?...How does a 'Cell' deal with an energy crisis?. It is virtually impossible to understand how 'Biology' works outside the context of environment.

One of the most crazy making yet wide spread and potentially dangerous notions is "Oh that behaviour IS genetic".. What does that mean?

It means all sorts of subtle stuff.. if you study modern biology, but for most people out there, it means 'A' A Deterministic view of life.. One rooted in Biology and Genetics.. Gene's equal things that can't be changed, Gene's equal things that are inevitable and that you might as well not waste resources trying to fix.. Might as well not put any energy into trying to improve because it's 'inevitable' and it's unchangeable....That is sheer nonsense.
 

CrazyCatLady

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Like everyone else, this case really affected me. Do what I do for a living, I'd been following it from the first news stories and have never cried so much in years. However, what I'm about to say about this will not be popular!

Social Services....absolutely, no way on Earth they acted appropriately. ANY Social Worker should have seen that the bruise in the pictures was not caused by an accident- way, way too big and too deep of an injury to be caused by a fall on to toys while playing with another child. It was also clear from the picture in the colouring that there was more than one bruise (you could see the edges of a healing bruise underneath the new bruise). However, out of all the evidence that there was to indicate he was being abused, this was the only piece of solid evidence that S.S had. Everything else was via reporting from others, which (and I'm not excusing S.S) can have another motive and this is something Social Workers have to sift through. False reporting to S.S is very common from ex-partners and warring family members & neighbours.

Not a lot of people know the workings of Children's Services and seem to think that they are an Emergency Service and have rights to take children out of abusive homes. They're not and they don't.
The public seem to think that they have an endless amount of safe families and parents to hand abused and neglected children over to once saving them from their homes. They don't- in fact, it's a struggle to get children into a foster home and there are children that we have to leave with parents we know are neglectful or putting them at risk, because there is simply no one else to take them. Do you honestly think any social worker sleeps easy at night knowing that?

And there's the amount of work. Most families struggle with the responsibility of 2 or 3 children. Trying having to ensure the safety and be responsible for the lives of around 40+ children? Every day, checking in; writing the scores of unnecessarily paperwork to go with every visit, phone call, email; constructing the endless 'safety contracts' with families and carers; the court documentation; the supervisions with managers; the agency meetings.
The average day for a Social Worker starts at around 5am- collecting children from carers to bring them to school, helping parents get kids to school, etc- and doesn't end till the early hours, when they are having to write up every movement from their day.

And then there's the turnover of staff. Local Authorities have so much trouble retaining staff, it's shocking. Some stay less than a week when they see their workloads.

There's so much more. It's a system that has so many organisational failings and as a result, our children fail. But is it the Social Worker's fault? Hell, no! They're puppets of an overworked, overloaded system.

And the real culprits in this?
Not Social Services, but the father for putting his prick before his child and the scumbag wh***, who shouldn't have been 10 feet near a child.

Perhaps if parents put their children first and not their relationships, Social Services would be able to function adequately.
 

Saphire

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It's normal to want to blame people when things like this happen.
Obviously, the evil and useless parent/step parent are to blame. Hopefully the sentences will be increased, God willing they never get out ever again, that would be justice....well actually real justice would be capital punishment, but dying in jail is the next best thing I suppose.

I agree that most of us don't realise the workload of the average social worker, especially when dealing with children.
The woman who collected her hefty pension after taking early retirement certainly wasn't your average social worker though.

The saddest part was in Arthurs case, he did have family who loved him, who could have taken care of him, but the deviousness of the step mother and father, ensured they were cut off from seeing him.
Unfortunately, police, social workers, teachers, and society in general were stopped from helping him....I read the grandmother was warned by police she would be in trouble if she kept bothering them with reports about cruelty.

Sometimes human error and failure to protect the vulnerable has to be looked into, and in this case...yes, I believe it should be.
 

Saphire

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Like everyone else, this case really affected me. Do what I do for a living, I'd been following it from the first news stories and have never cried so much in years. However, what I'm about to say about this will not be popular!

Social Services....absolutely, no way on Earth they acted appropriately. ANY Social Worker should have seen that the bruise in the pictures was not caused by an accident- way, way too big and too deep of an injury to be caused by a fall on to toys while playing with another child. It was also clear from the picture in the colouring that there was more than one bruise (you could see the edges of a healing bruise underneath the new bruise). However, out of all the evidence that there was to indicate he was being abused, this was the only piece of solid evidence that S.S had. Everything else was via reporting from others, which (and I'm not excusing S.S) can have another motive and this is something Social Workers have to sift through. False reporting to S.S is very common from ex-partners and warring family members & neighbours.

Not a lot of people know the workings of Children's Services and seem to think that they are an Emergency Service and have rights to take children out of abusive homes. They're not and they don't.
The public seem to think that they have an endless amount of safe families and parents to hand abused and neglected children over to once saving them from their homes. They don't- in fact, it's a struggle to get children into a foster home and there are children that we have to leave with parents we know are neglectful or putting them at risk, because there is simply no one else to take them. Do you honestly think any social worker sleeps easy at night knowing that?

And there's the amount of work. Most families struggle with the responsibility of 2 or 3 children. Trying having to ensure the safety and be responsible for the lives of around 40+ children? Every day, checking in; writing the scores of unnecessarily paperwork to go with every visit, phone call, email; constructing the endless 'safety contracts' with families and carers; the court documentation; the supervisions with managers; the agency meetings.
The average day for a Social Worker starts at around 5am- collecting children from carers to bring them to school, helping parents get kids to school, etc- and doesn't end till the early hours, when they are having to write up every movement from their day.

And then there's the turnover of staff. Local Authorities have so much trouble retaining staff, it's shocking. Some stay less than a week when they see their workloads.

There's so much more. It's a system that has so many organisational failings and as a result, our children fail. But is it the Social Worker's fault? Hell, no! They're puppets of an overworked, overloaded system.

And the real culprits in this?
Not Social Services, but the father for putting his prick before his child and the scumbag wh***, who shouldn't have been 10 feet near a child.

Perhaps if parents put their children first and not their relationships, Social Services would be able to function adequately.
That last line...I couldn't agree more.
Sadly some parents put their bloody mobile phones before their kids, so not much chance of the same deadbeats actually caring properly for their offspring.
 

CrazyCatLady

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It's normal to want to blame people when things like this happen.
Obviously, the evil and useless parent/step parent are to blame. Hopefully the sentences will be increased, God willing they never get out ever again, that would be justice....well actually real justice would be capital punishment, but dying in jail is the next best thing I suppose.

I agree that most of us don't realise the workload of the average social worker, especially when dealing with children.
The woman who collected her hefty pension after taking early retirement certainly wasn't your average social worker though.

The saddest part was in Arthurs case, he did have family who loved him, who could have taken care of him, but the deviousness of the step mother and father, ensured they were cut off from seeing him.
Unfortunately, police, social workers, teachers, and society in general were stopped from helping him....I read the grandmother was warned by police she would be in trouble if she kept bothering them with reports about cruelty.

Sometimes human error and failure to protect the vulnerable has to be looked into, and in this case...yes, I believe it should be.
This case was a failing on multiple levels, but tbh, the police and social services are the two systems in the list that desperately need reform. Schools are actually pretty good at reporting concerns and from working in one for many years, I know there is often frustration that their concerns are not always picked up by children's services. All a teacher or school can do is report the concern to them and monitor the child on a personal level, but it's up to C.S to take it further or initiate any support/care.

The front door needs to be changed- how children are assessed to be at risk at the beginning of any concern raised to C.S. There is way too much 'evidence' required before a proper check and if that is seen to show little to no risks, it's NFA'd (no further action) and the child isn't seen. On non-accidental injury evidence (photo or seen in person), there should be immediate extraction of the child from the home and a Child Protection medical undertaken. Some authorities already do this- no idea why that one didn't!

It's a sad fact that children will always be at risk, but hell, something needs to be done. Arthur is another in a list of children dying in unimaginable circumstances, because someone didn't do their job properly and there shouldn't be a list...there shouldn't even be one.
 

Saphire

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I know, it was an utterly heartbreaking case.
Those videos were amongst the most distressing ones I have ever seen.
 

Moriarty

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It's a sad fact that children will always be at risk, but hell, something needs to be done. Arthur is another in a list of children dying in unimaginable circumstances, because someone didn't do their job properly and there shouldn't be a list...there shouldn't even be one.

Yes, the ones not doing thier job is the family.

Anything else is just attribution of blame to an institution not an individual.
 

CrazyCatLady

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Yes, the ones not doing thier job is the family.

Anything else is just attribution of blame to an institution not an individual.
Ahh, Moriarty! I did wonder if I'd see your name pop up before I had a chance to tackle the Altruism debate!

You're first line...the family? Are you sure? A grandparent/aunt/uncle, etc can't do much by law apart from contact children's services, NSPCC or police (Useful info: if you think a child is at risk of harm, you can call 999 and ask the police to conduct a 'Child Welfare Check' on the child. Supposedly, that means they will visit; check the home conditions and general welfare of the child.)
Family can't remove the child without facing a possible kidnap charge, so if they don't have a good relationship with the parent (or person who the parent has attributed responsibility to), how are they supposed to get the child in their care without repercussions?
The family of Arthur complained to Children's Services- sent pictures of the bruise. C.S visited and NFA'd, due to believing the story that the bruise was sustained during child play with The Thing's children. So, another relative (grandfather or uncle- can't recall now) called the police to report concerns, however, in the call he threatened to go to the house and get Arthur, but was warned that he would face being arrested for breaking Covid regulations.

In here, we have 2 individual failures. The Social Worker, who believed the story of the injury and did not look for coercion in the children, and the police call operator, who did not take the call from the relative seriously enough in regard to Arthur, did not initiate a 'Child Welfare Check' and put Covid regulations over the welfare of a child.

Of course- primarily, Arthur's sh!thead father and The Thing are responsible, but the failures didn't begin with them.

Arthur's mother is in prison, serving 18 years for the murder of her ex-partner. Throughout her relationship with him and Arthur's father, there were reports (police) and concerns (school) of domestic abuse. Arthur was even present during the murder and during preceding D.V incidents- so where the f*** were children's services then? Who the hell NFA'd a child that (1) was a victim of D.V (2) was witness to a murder (albeit in his bedroom, he was in the home when it occurred) (3) should have a children's services managed contact arrangement with his incarcerated mother. This child should have had an allocated social worker from the first concerns of D.V in the home with his mother and should not have been taken off the Child Protection Register.
Yet he was and then when they visited, they didn't even bother to run The Thing's name through the system to find that she had had children removed from her care, because she had a history of violence.
Again- two or more individual failures: the social worker/team manager holding the front door (the incoming concerns and care and support allocations) and the social worker who didn't do a name check on adults in the household of the child she just visited!

However, (see my first post) can social workers really be held responsible when it is an institutional problem of inadequate processes, poorly trained and overloaded staff, and a lack of people in the actual jobs?
 

Moriarty

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However, (see my first post) can social workers really be held responsible when it is an institutional problem of inadequate processes, poorly trained and overloaded staff, and a lack of people in the actual jobs?

Simple answer.
Yes, they can risk thier job for thier beliefs.

Complex answer.
Social Services fails at every level as truth is whatever they believe they see.
If I may make a simple assumption here.
People who go into social services usually want to help people.
So there is a natural desire to do so.

However, this is offset by the mistakes they make by believing what they want to believe.
Which has led to many cases wrongly brought which is a feeding frenzy for the media.
Which undermines peoples belief in the system both internally and externally.

So cognitive bias and the media are whats actually to blame for the failure of the system and the reluctance of the individuals within to actually be effective due to fear of being "wrong".

The "inadequate processes, poorly trained and overloaded staff, and a lack of people" is simple government idiocy spending money on things that are not needed, instead of funding the core needs of the department.

Just as with the NHS, to many administrators, not enough ground troops.
 
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