See also: • Cascading Oppression • Fractal Abuse • Authoritarian Paradigm Collapse
Children Services Abuse:
Complaints to the GSCC 25/07/2011
25 July 2011
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Dave was very frustrated and angry.  The Complaints Department had fobbed him off and when he sent the 20 page complaint he did add at the bottom of the covering letter "I respectfully request a response within 2 working days.  Your rules - not mine!"  But two days came and went and quite a few more.

Having looked around to see where he might complain to make a bit of a disturbance in the hope of getting this matter addressed he compiled the list of 5 MPs and wrote to them.  One of these was the Prime Minister and on account of researching his interests Dave had come across the 2007 report for the Conservative Party Commission on Social Workers entitled "No More Blame Game – The Future for Children's Social Workers" in which David Cameron (the Prime Minister) had written a foreword.  In that document there is much mention of the GSCC.

The GSCC stands for the General Social Care Council and they are, according to their web site, "... the regulator of the social work profession and social work education in England." and they "... protect the public by requiring high standards of education, conduct and practice of all social workers."  Dave gave this some thought and decided it was time to make a formal complaint to them.

He phoned the GSCC and they seemed quite friendly.  They sent him a complaint form.  The complaint form is strangely prescriptive and bloated.  But Dave copied the complaint form and made out three complaints: one for Obelix Mahjong,  one for Damon Markham and one for Petra Brookson.  The majority of the complaint form involved personal information about the complainant, the service user, the individual social worker and their employer so I am not including all that here.  The salient bit, the complaints, were typed out by Dave on separate sheets of paper and all the relevant documents were included.  Below is the covering letter and the three "complaints".

Dave also sent them a small corrigendum when he found a couple of mildly significant errors. This is included at the bottom of this page.


80 Haslet Road – Biston - Sumshire – AZ1 1ZA
Telephone: 01234 567890 - Email: dave@inkomi.co.uk
Conduct Intake and Assessment Service
General Social Care Council
Myson House
Railway Terrace
RUGBY
Warwickshire
CV21 3HT
25 July 2011



Dear Sir/Madam

Please find enclosed:
1 Complaint form regarding Obelix Mahjong
2 Complaint form regarding Damon Markham
3 Complaint form regarding Petra Brookson
4 Supporting documents for all three complaints
4.1 My first response to that Initial Assessment dated 6 October 2010.
4.2 My outline of my concerns as requested by Obelix Mahjong dated 22 October 2010.
4.3 My letter to the manager stating my concerns dated 25 October 2010.
4.4 My letter wondering what was going on dated 7 February 2011.
4.5 Damon Markham's response including Complaints Procedure dated 22 February 2011.
4.6 My letter expressing dismay and more dated 28 February 2011.
4.7 Damon Markham sends 'Core Report' with curt letter dated 14 March 2011.
4.8 My response and last letter to Damon Markham dated 3 April 2011.
4.9 My first letter to the 'Complaints Officer' dated 18 April 2011.
4.10 Finally after being nudged by the Ombudsman I get a reply dated 30 June 2011.
4.11 My letter and 20 page complaint dated 13 July 2011.

I feel your complaints form is a little cumbersome, prescriptive, and costly to copy but I have filled them out as best I can.  I hope I have provided all the information you need to process these complaints and obviously please do not hesitate to contact me if there is any additional information you require.  I have not included the offensive reports because it was all becoming quite bulky anyway and they are probably superfluous.  However, all the above documents and the two reports are available, suitably redacted, on the internet fro your perusal at:
http://www.toxicdrums.com/children-services-abuse/

I wish also to make a complaint against the Children Services Directorate in Sumshire.  Although your Codes of Practice include two categories, 'Social Care Workers' and 'Employers of Social Care Workers', I could not find a complaint form for the 'Employers'.  I hope you can accept this collection of complaints and the documents as a formal complaint against the Children Services Directorate in Sumshire as the employer of the individuals concerned.  I feel very strongly that what I have encountered is a general culture of negativity and dismissal.  I feel that all the people I have dealt with have indicated that this is the normal mode of operation of the entire Children Services Directorate in Sumshire including the Complaints Department.  My complaint includes the fact that there are two illegitimate reports containing false information currently being held on the ICS as 'evidence' of a fictitious reality that they wish to maintain.  This is neither acceptable nor is it the stated intention of the Home Office with all its rules, regulations and guidelines surrounding the Children Services in general.  Their behaviour has been offensive and rude in the extreme and their response indicates that they feel they are acting with impunity.  So far they have collectively distressed both my daughter and me to the point of stopping her attending college and causing me physical illness.

Both my daughter and I have been through an awful lot over the past 7 years and nothing (short of my ex-wife's behaviour) has been as inherently disgusting and disturbing as the behaviour we have encountered from the Children Services in Biston.

Yours sincerely





Dave Hook
B.A. M.Sc. MBCS CITP




Addendum to Section 6.

Attachment explaining the complaint against Obelix Mahjong.

Obelix Mahjong was tasked to conduct an Initial Assessment and a Core Assessment with respect to my daughter, Helen.  In the course of her activities she lied to us, she manipulated the child, she failed to execute the agreed meetings, she was overtly rude, she failed to carry out her tasks according to the statutory guidelines, she lied in reports, she filed false and illegitimate reports, has failed to take responsibility for her failings, ignored complaints and has caused us serious detrimental consequences.

Most complaints may be about single events that were serious and significant in themselves.  This complaint is about the entirety of the involvement with the Children Services in Biston from Monday 6 September 2010 to the present day.  The whole complaint covers Obelix Mahjong, Damon Markham, Petra Brookson and the Children Services Directorate in Sumshire.  This complaint form addresses specifically the conduct of Obelix Mahjong.

For a detailed explanation which includes all the complaints against Obelix Mahjong please see the enclosed complete communications between us and the Children Services since 6 September 2010.  The first point of significant concern was over the Initial Assessment Report.  This could have been sorted out amicably had it been responsibly dealt with.  However the complaint has escalated to the point of being far more extensive, involving more people and has caused significant harm to both my daughter and me.  The original expression of concern was ignored.  Obelix then attempted to avoid a joint meeting with Helen and me.  This has subsequently been used against me as if I avoided a meeting because I suggested we should stick to the original agreed arrangement of meetings.  Obelix had the joint meeting with us and then an individual meeting with Helen and planned a second one with her.  I don't mind how many meetings Obelix arranges with my daughter but she had the second meeting and then tried successfully to avoid the agreed joint meeting with us.  First she said she was too busy and when I offered to attend her office if it helped she agreed and we made an arrangement.  I turned up at her office and was rudely turned away without any personal contact with the staff of the Children Services and a message saying she was off sick.  She never contacted us again.  This is not only in contravention of their statutory obligations but so stunningly rude I am finding it hard to believe.  And no one at the Children Services seems to see anything wrong with it suggesting this is how they treat people generally.  Then, when I complained I got no response.  Then when I complained again suggesting that the Core Assessment had been terminated with no explanation I was provided with a clearly illegitimate and hastily concocted fake Core Assessment Report.  The Core Assessment Report neither complies with the statutory guidelines nor the statutory time requirements.  It contains some entirely invented lies about my daughter and me.  All attempts to complain have been ignored at length and if there has been a response it has been a fob off and has not addressed the substance of the complaint.

According to the Code of Practice for Social Care Workers Obelix Mahjong has clearly breached at least 15 standards.

• Strive to establish and maintain the trust and confidence of service users and carers;
Obelix simply did not meet this requirement.  The Initial Assessment Report was not carried out in the statutory time required and it cherry picked negative issues to include and excluded positive attributes of the parent.  I was asked to write my concerns down so that we could discuss them.  I did and they were never discussed or addressed.  The Core Assessment was not carried out according to the statutory guidelines and was not completed in the statutory time prescribed.  Both reports made false representations.  Obelix failed to carry out the agreed meetings and simply avoided one that I turned up to, with neither an apology nor an attempt to reschedule.  Obelix lied to us about being able to contact us.  No Core Assessment Report was given to us until many months later and then only under duress by another individual.  This mode of conduct thereby caused both me and my daughter to distrust her and the Children Services in general.

• Uphold public trust and confidence in social care services;
For all the reasons above our trust and confidence in social care services was shattered and we now feel they are a malicious organisation using people's vulnerabilities to perpetuate their own employment at the tax payers' expense.

• Be accountable for the quality of their work and take responsibility for maintaining and improving their knowledge and skills.
Obelix failed in the first part of this requirement.  I made my concerns clear, by request, in a letter to Obelix dated 13 July 2011.  This was never addressed.  Obelix neither acknowledged nor responded to the letter.  The concerns were deliberately ignored.  This is a refusal to be accountable for the quality of her work.  She failed to give any apology for a missed meeting and I have never heard from her since she terminated the Core Assessment midstream.  This leaves the impression that she feels she is not to be held to account for her work.

1.2 Respecting and, where appropriate, promoting the individual views and wishes of both service users and carers;
There was clearly no respect for my views and little respect for Helen's views.  My views were simply ignored and they were relevant and appropriate but never mentioned.  So a complete failure to achieve this requirement.

2 As a social care worker, you must strive to establish and maintain the trust and confidence of service users and carers.
As is clear from all the evidence and the points raised above this requirement has been entirely ignored and in fact countered.

2.1 Being honest and trustworthy;
Breached on numerous occasions from direct lies to falsifications in the reports.

2.2 Communicating in an appropriate, open, accurate and straightforward way;
As is clear from the above points communications were inappropriate because lies are inappropriate.  There was no openness, unless admitting that no one reads these reports so it doesn't matter what she puts in them is considered 'open'.  Accuracy seems an anathema to Obelix.  There is nothing straightforward about lying, avoiding meetings and making no attempt to contact someone after a missed meeting or to arrange another.  In fact without completing the meetings she 'apparently' continued to produce a report.

2.3 Respecting confidential information and clearly explaining agency policies about confidentiality to service users and carers;
I don't know if Obelix is in breach of this standard because she did clearly explain the confidentiality of the reports but the Core Assessment Report was sent to me and not to the 'confidential' recipient.  Therefore either she was misinforming us of the confidential nature of the report or the confidentiality was ignored.

2.4 Being reliable and dependable;
There is nothing reliable about Obelix's attendance of meetings, or of her carrying out her expressed plans.  There is nothing reliable about someone who will make up any untruth to explain away an event and then change their story on other occasions.  I turned up to a meeting at her office at a prearranged time and was simply informed that she was off sick.  She never got in touch to apologise or reschedule.  This is not dependable behaviour.

2.5 Honouring work commitments, agreements and arrangements and, when it is not possible to do so, explaining why to service users and carers;
There was a statutory obligation to carry out the Core Assessment investigation and the planned meetings were not carried out.  Apparently the Report was then produced on a subset of meetings with no consultation or agreement from us.  Commitments, agreements and arrangements were all abandoned and after she failed to attend a meeting there was no further contact so no apology or rescheduling occurred.

3.7 Helping service users and carers to make complaints, taking complaints seriously and responding to them or passing them to the appropriate person;
The Complaints Procedures were neither provided nor explained.  Obelix postponed my original concerns by telling me to write them down so that we could discuss them and when I did there was no response and no discussion.  So my complaints were neither taken seriously nor responded to.

3.8 Recognising and using responsibly the power that comes from your work with service users and carers. 
There seems to be no responsible execution of her tasks or in the reports themselves.  It is not responsible to arrange a set of equitable meetings and then to try to manipulate a different arrangement by changing plans with the child whilst not consulting the parent.  That is in fact an abuse of her power and responsibility.

5 As a social care worker, you must uphold public trust and confidence in social care services.
Quite the reverse seems to have happened with Obelix's behaviour.

In particular you must not:

5.1 Abuse, neglect or harm service users, carers or colleagues;
There was abuse in the eliciting of information only to cherry pick the negative points to bolster a desired image that Obelix wanted to project in a report.  Harm has been cause to both my daughter and myself.  My daughter could not cope with college as a direct result of Obelix's behaviour.  She managed to confirm and increase, not allay, my daughter's fears that people in positions of power cannot be trusted.  She has not been able to attend college since Obelix's treacherous behaviour.  She has caused me significant distress to the point of becoming physically ill.

5.3 Abuse the trust of service users and carers or the access you have to personal information about them or to their property, home or workplace;
Trust was abused on a number of occasions and personal information held on the ICS was used inappropriately in the Core Assessment Report.



Addendum to Section 6.

Attachment explaining the complaint against Damon Markham.

On the back of some insidious and slanderous remarks by a nurse at the hospital the Children Services investigated my daughter Helen and me.  An Initial Assessment was carried out by Obelix Mahjong and following that a Core Assessment was initiated.  Damon Markham authorised the Initial Assessment Report and so I deduce that he was Obelix Mahjong's supervisor.  On 25 October 2010 I wrote to the Manager (which transpired to be Damon Markham) complaining about the "trail of errors, incompetence, and the possibility of some deception by the Children Services."  I laid out my concerns very carefully and in some detail.  The Core Assessment mysteriously vanished.  I heard nothing for months.  On 7 February 2011 I wrote expressing my concern at the lack of response and requesting information about the correct procedure for placing a formal complaint.  At least I got a response this time even if it was 15 days later.  Ironically the photocopy of the Complaints Procedure he sent me explained that they will at least acknowledge receipt of a complaint within 2 working days.  I don't think anyone in that department has read that sentence.

Without going into detail (but I will on request) Damon Markham rather dismissed my legitimate and verifiable concerns making one strange token acknowledgement that Wicca is an entirely respectable religion.  He follows this with a paragraph which I find hard to comprehend.  Not that I don't understand what he is saying but rather the purpose of what he says.  He seems to think he has addressed my letter.  Actually he refers to the concerns about Helen's well being as if that is the main issue.  I have never questioned their conclusion that Helen is a "child in need as defined in the Children Act 1989." and is "a child in need whose vulnerability is such that they are unlikely to reach or maintain a satisfactory level of health or development without the provision of services."  So that is not addressing my expressed concerns at all.  He then simply states "I do not see any evidence of prejudice" as if he is the ultimate authority and that settles the matter.  It does seem to be the case that prejudicial people cannot see prejudice.  But as the Principle Practitioner of a Children Services Directorate he should at least be able to question his assumptions.  He should also be capable of acknowledging someone else's opinion without dismissing it so casually and arrogantly.  He also evidently did not realise that Helen had not been provided with the Core Assessment at this stage.

So I wrote back to him explaining the anomaly of his reference to the Core Assessment which had never been completed and the Report magically appeared two weeks later.  The Core Assessment Report was not authorised by a supervisor and the computer 'locked' the report on 14 March 2011, the day he sent it to me and approximately four months late according to statutory requirements.  I also said that I wanted the issues raised in my letters of 22 October 2010 and 25 October 2010 addressed but there was no mention of this.  Sometimes I think they can only deal with one item in a letter at a time.  It seems if I mention three things they simply pick the one they think they can answer rather like a choice in an exam;  "Please answer one of the following questions..."

So at this point I took the complaint to the Complaints Department.

According to the Code of Practice for Social Care Workers Damon Markham has possibly breached as many as 9 standards.

1 As a social care worker, you must protect the rights and promote the interests of service users and carers.
Our rights and interests were trampled to death.  The obligation to provide the Complaints Procedure at the outset was not met.  There was no response to my earlier letters of complaint.  There was no recognition of the validity of my concerns.

1.4 Respecting and maintaining the dignity and privacy of service users;
By sending the Core Assessment Report to me Damon Markham was contravening the confidentiality of the report.

2 As a social care worker, you must strive to establish and maintain the trust and confidence of service users and carers.
If the word 'strive' exists in the above statement one assumes it is meant to be there and has some meaning and purpose.  If not then it should not be in the Code of Practice.  There was absolutely NO striving to either establish or maintain trust and confidence.  Quite the reverse was the case.

2.3 Respecting confidential information and clearly explaining agency policies about confidentiality to service users and carers;
Obelix Mahjong did clearly explain the policies about confidentiality and yet Damon Markham simply sent the Core Assessment to me in his haste to cover their collective tracks.

3.7 Helping service users and carers to make complaints, taking complaints seriously and responding to them or passing them to the appropriate person;
Zero compliance with this 'Code of Practice'.

3.8 Recognising and using responsibly the power that comes from your work with service users and carers. 
Little sign of responsibility toward us.

5 As a social care worker, you must uphold public trust and confidence in social care services. 
The word 'must' jumps out for me.  There was no attempt to uphold public trust.  A complete dereliction of the Codes of Practice when it comes to complaints.  I will say that my 'trust' is so shattered I am a little shocked.  What I see is assumed impunity to do what they like so long as they don't actually do anything too obvious like stealing money directly from my pocket in public view and on camera.  Failing that they just seem to play the "Butter wouldn't melt in my mouth.  What are you talking about?" card.

In particular you must not:
5.6 Condone any unlawful or unjustifiable discrimination by service users, carers or colleagues;
By his complete denial of any prejudice or anything wrong with the report I think Damon Markham is condoning "unjustifiable discrimination by ... colleagues".  I happen to think he is condoning unlawful behaviour too.

6.1 Meeting relevant standards of practice and working in a lawful, safe and effective way;
Damon Markham clearly failed to meet relevant standards of practice with respect to the issues of confidentiality and complaints.



Addendum to Section 6.

Attachment explaining the complaint against Petra Brookson.

Having had some problems with our involvement with the Children Services Directorate in Biston I eventually wrote to the Complaints Department on 18 April 2011.  According to their own Statutory Complaints Procedure I should expect a response within 2 working days.  I waited.  And I waited.  And I waited some more.  Rather than being too presumptuous or upset I decided to phone the Complaints Department to see if they had received my complaint and what they were doing about it.  At 16:35 hrs on Thursday 12 May 2011 I phoned and spoke with a lady called Tracy.  She checked the files and confirmed they had received the complaint and it was marked received on 3 May 2011.  She expressed surprise that no one had been in touch (maybe she hasn't been there long) and assured me that she would speak to someone and I would get a response in a day or so.  I thanked her and that was that.  I waited.  And I waited.  A week later I thought I would phone again.  At 16:30 hrs on Thursday 19 May I phoned the Complaints Department.  I spoke with Tracy again and she sounded surprised.  She apologised and said that the lady dealing with the complaint was Petra Brookson and that she would mention my call and she was sure I would hear something in a day or so.  I waited.  And I waited some more.

At this point (about 7 months since the complaint started) I was now getting seriously distressed.  Clearly Home Office officialdom is not what I had imagined it to be.  I waited another 10 days and then decided to write to the Ombudsman.  Initially the Ombudsman appeared to be up to the same mischief but to a lesser degree.  He did eventually contact the Sumshire County Council and this seemed to prompt a response from Petra Brookson.  I received a letter from her dated 30 June 2011 (73 days after my complaint).

The letter was so strange.  She claims that the complaint from me dated 18 April was "received in this office on 27th April 2011" so where did Tracy get the information about it being received on 3 May?  She says that she has read various documents.  She denies that the Core Assessment is 'fake' (as I had suggested) and in her attempt to prove it was not fake she inadvertently provided the 'proof' that it was.  She then goes on to assure me that Obelix's claim that we showed reluctance and missed meetings was correct by making erroneous claims and interpretations and dismissed my claim that Obelix was reluctant and missed appointments by referring to a legitimately cancelled appointment which has nothing to do with the issue.  There is no substantial rationality in her letter.  She also does not seem to know what the word prejudice means.  Her letter was dreamy, inaccurate and actually simply a fob off.  So I wrote in more precise detail on 13 July.  I made my points clear and specific.  I explained in a lot of detail, much of which can be corroborated from the available evidence.  It may be a weighty tome but I felt it was necessary since the sparse communication I get from them seems to feign a lack of understanding of what I am saying.  I also specifically 'asked' for a response and pointed out their Statutory Complaints Procedure obliged them to reply within two working days.  I hand delivered the letter to their offices on Wednesday 13 July 2011 and waited.  As I write (25 July 2011) I have still heard nothing.

According to the Code of Practice for Social Care Workers Petra Brookson appears to have breached at least 8 standards.

• Uphold public trust and confidence in social care services; and
In my case Petra Brookson has failed on this account.  She neither responded in an appropriate (or even statutory) time nor, when she did respond, was her response relevant.  She has also attempted to misinform me if not lied.  Trust and confidence have evaporated.

2.1 Being honest and trustworthy;
I don't think Petra Brookson wantonly lied to me but she did not check her facts and was casual in asserting, from a position of authority, what the facts were and she was wrong.  This is precisely irresponsible and unfortunately leads to her being untrustworthy.  Specific examples being that the Core assessment was never authorised on 3 November 2010 as she claims.  I did not phone to cancel a meeting as she claims.  I did not reschedule a planned meeting as she claims.  Apparently Obelix arrived 10 minutes late for a 14:30 hrs appointment and waited some time before leaving at 14:30 hrs.  Of course I know this is a mistake but there are too many of them.  But all of this is explained in detail in my letter of 13 July which is enclosed with this complaint.

2.2 Communicating in an appropriate, open, accurate and straightforward way;
Unfortunately dreamy statements which do nothing to address the issues are not an appropriate way to communicate and her accuracy is evidently faulty.

3.7 Helping service users and carers to make complaints, taking complaints seriously and responding to them or passing them to the appropriate person;
Clearly fails on this account.

3.8 Recognising and using responsibly the power that comes from your work with service users and carers.
When you are the Complaints Officer you really do have a responsibility to check facts that you want to assert.  It is an abuse of power to assert errors because you either cannot be bothered to check the facts or because you want to convey falsehoods.  It seems, from her letter, that she is focused on defending her brood and not on looking into the complaint.  In other circumstances it could be deemed collusion.

In particular you must not:
5.6 Condone any unlawful or unjustifiable discrimination by service users, carers or colleagues;
Effectively that is exactly what she has done.

6.1 Meeting relevant standards of practice and working in a lawful, safe and effective way;
Relevant standards being their own Statutory Procedures and the GSCC Code of Practice for Social Care Workers;  On numerous occasions these have not been met.

6.2 Maintaining clear and accurate records as required by procedures established for your work;
Either their records are not kept accurately or Petra is simply inventing facts as if they come from the records.  Contradictions in claims indicate this.  Her reference to the date of receipt counters Tracy's.  Her reference to events around Obelix and the meetings are inaccurate.  Her suggestion that the Core Assessment Report was authorised on  3 November 2010 is either in ignorance or they have amended the report thereby not keeping accurate records.



80 Haslet Road – Biston - Sumshire – AZ1 1ZA
Telephone: 01234 567890 - Email: dave@inkomi.co.uk
Conduct Intake and Assessment Service
General Social Care Council
Myson House
Railway Terrace
RUGBY
Warwickshire
CV21 3HT
25 July 2011



Dear Sir/Madam

This whole affair is causing me a great deal of distress.  In my exhausted state I seem to have made a few errors in the detail of the complaint I sent to you dated 25 July 2011.  Here is a list of errors I have found and the corrections.  Two of them could be misleading and the spelling mistakes are just for completeness.  I apologise for the errors and the inconvenience to you.

In the covering letter at the end of the paragraph after the list of documents it says "...on the internet fro your perusal..." it should say "...on the internet for your perusal..."
In the "Attachment explaining the complaint against Obelix Mahjong."
On page 1:
In the third paragraph starting on line 6 it says "Obelix then attempted to avoid a joint meeting with Helen and me."  It was the individual one with me alone that she attempted to avoid.  The final joint meeting was never reached.  Then on line 11 it again refers to "the agreed joint meeting with us." and should read "the agreed individual meeting with me."
On page 2:
In the third paragraph under the heading starting "Be accountable for the quality of their work..." I have accidentally referred to a letter dated 13 July 2011 and it should be a letter dated 22 October 2010.
On page 3:
On the second line of the penultimate paragraph it says "Harm has been cause to both..." and should say "Harm has been caused to both..."

Yours sincerely





Dave Hook
B.A. M.Sc. MBCS CITP




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