“Lainey and Chloe’s” Story

Child Mirror

When I started reporting on the cases of the children I have been referring to as Maggie and Emma it wasn’t clear if they were representative of anything. In the literally thousands of disclosures of abuse made every year there had to be cock ups, and perhaps these cases were just “outliers”. Egregious examples of incompetence with a bit of possible official malice thrown in. I made no initial assumptions about them being anything other than terribly tragic instances of the state failing vulnerable children.

The volume of similar cases that I now have on my desk suggests strikingly similar patterns of official action. Concerned mothers lobbying for their children getting labelled “difficult”. Those mothers being forced to undergo psychiatric assesment. Their fitness to parent called into doubt on the say so of an allegedly abusive spouse. Incomplete or haphazard consideration of the evidence of abuse.

And most disturbingly  – fathers who have been deemed abusive by Gardai, by independent Psychologists, by paediatricians getting access to their children on the recommendation of the HSE.

Birds of a feather flock together and it may well be that by discussing these cases so publicly I have encouraged the handful of other similar cases that exist to come forward. So it is still too early to draw any hard and fast conclusions about the extent of this. My instinct however is that the women who have identified themselves to me and provided documents to support their allegations are the courageous few not afraid to move to the front of a long queue of  silenced grievance.

ChildrenFirstLetterhead

There are more stories coming to my attention. There will be more reports on Drivetime. This from yesterday’s programme is Lainey and Chloe’s story.

Lainey and Chloe’s Story – Listen here

Two young children made disclosures first to their mother, then to other adults, of stories that backed each other up. The level of detail they offered in those stories is in the minds of several psychologists – who have independently examined their testimony – proof of grooming and abuse by their father. But the HSE arrived at a different conclusion and have recommended that the father regain unsupervised access.

That decision was reached with considerable input from one psychologist. A professional who had not interviewed Lainey or Chloe since they made their disclosures. This did not inhibit the psychologist from concluding that no abuse had taken place. A conclusion the Social Workers agreed with in making their recommendation that the father regain access which did not necessarily need to be supervised.

After the HSE reached its conclusion Lainey’s mother video recorded her making a disclosure of abuse. She has played it for two different psychologists. You can raise quite legitimate objections about possible coaching by a parent  – but notwithstanding that possible influence those psychologists concluded that it could not be ignored.

I have watched it. It is horrifying. If you saw it you would find it very hard to understand how the HSE could have closed the file on Lainey and Chloe let alone made the recommendations it has. But the mother said that her attempts to get the HSE to consider it have been rebuffed.

Lainey and Chloe’s mother has since then had to hand her children over to their father for unsupervised access. They are daytime visits in public places and of relatively short duration. So at present she is relatively reassured that no further abuse is taking place, but her ex husband could yet petition the courts for greater access. As things stand there would be little reason for the judge not to award it.

HSE response – Listen here

The only formal response we have had from the HSE until now is to draw our attention to our obligations under Children First. In other words  – no acknowledgement of the possibility of any problem but a warning that in highlighting these cases anonymously we were failing to disclose to the HSE the identity of  victims of sexual abuse. We have responded that everything that has been reported on by this programme is information that the HSE has too.

Children First Guidelines

3 Comments

Filed under Children, Drivetime, Society

3 responses to ““Lainey and Chloe’s” Story

  1. Monica Burns

    Please, please Philip do not give up on this investigation!!!!!

  2. Patrick Collins

    Once again Philip, well done. The stories are awful. Unfortunately, the interview afterwards was equally as disturbing if not more so. I expected that when Mr. Jeyes came on your show there would be a reassurance given that such bad practices would be eradicated and that he would apologise for such bad practice at least. (I had reason to believe this as recently Fergus Finlay spoke highly of him on either your show or The Last Word when we found out about kids being locked in a building that had four fires in them suggesting that he was misrepresented). When on your show Mr. Jeyes appeared to me to be an apologist for the HSE and its bad practice. When you think back to the Frances Fitzgerald interview after your first report I thought there were similiarities between the two interviews. I think this will make your job harder. Strategies at the top will not change without the weight of public opinion forcing a change.
    Keep the information coming and hopefully more people will begin to respond forcing a change in the group mindset at the top.
    Patrick Collins

  3. Hi Philip,
    I posted the following two entries on an earlier page:
    “This story is shocking in its similarities with a story that had an outcome that is the polar opposite. Please contact Equality For Fathers In Ireland at equalityforfathers@yahoo.co.uk if interested. http://equalityforfathersinireland.webs.com/apps/blog/show/15656031-equality-for-all-unless-you-re-a-dad

    The Barr Judgement http://www.bailii.org/ie/cases/IEHC/1997/26.html states that:
    1) The health board’s records in each case should include factors favourable to the alleged abuser.
    2) The board’s assessment of the weight it attaches to each such allegation should be stated and should be objectively based.
    3) The complaint should be put to the alleged abuser in course of the investigation and he/she should be given an opportunity of responding to it.
    yet these basic principles are routinely ignored. It seems that HSE Child Protection Services simply believe the first account they receive, whether that is the father or the mother, and then shoe-horn their findings into the initial decision they make based on a one-sided report”.

    And

    “The failures of the HSE to do their job in accordance with their own protocols and procedures recently resulted in the following:
    303. Thus, there will be judgment for the applicant for the sum of €736,984.
    http://www.courts.ie/__80256F2B00356A6B.nsf/0/64CD014DA32F54A380257B050033CEC1?Open
    Can our country afford to fund such malfeasance in public office?”

    Unfortunately, you have not made any contact but the failures of the HSE are not gender neutral. There are many fathers who are not seeing their children due to false allegations that have not been investigated correctly and so the children are failed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s