Battling for Total Reform

This is why we need ‘Total Reform’

One of the numerous parents that we support, recently forwarded to us an email he had received from Cafcass. An anonymised  copy of the email has been included in this post.

However before we take a look at the email, we would like to put the email into the context of the case. We will refer to the father as Joe.

It has now been over two years since Joe has seen his children. Joe and his now ex-wife separated and Joe has not seen his children since. Joe is the non-resident parent and the children all reside with their mother who is the resident parent. Joe has had numerous allegations made against him by his ex. None of these allegations were founded and as such Joe rightly so has no safeguarding issues regarding himself as parent.

The current flawed system’s belief is that we should listen to and act on the wishes and feelings of the children in such cases. However Cafcass have documented in numerous reports that the mother is exhibiting alienating behaviours and must stop. A clinical psychologist has assessed all family members and stated that the children live in a toxic environment with their mother and in the best interests of the children this scenario can not continue.

Both the clinical psychologist and Cafcass have stated that these children are being emotionally abused by their mother and that this must stop. Cafcass have even gone so far as to explicitly state in meetings, emails and in the presence of a McKenzie friend that this is a case of parental alienation.

Joe’s children are currently stating to professionals that they no longer want to have a relationship with their father. Their mother has also stated to numerous professionals that all she wishes is for her and the children to be left alone by services so the children can grieve for their father Joe. We would like to point out that Joe is very much alive and well!

It is Joe’s belief that Cafcass are clearly struggling to effectively manage such a complex case involving parental alienation. The children’s mother has over the course of the last two years breached all court orders that would result in any form of direct or indirect contact between Joe and his children.

Joe recently informed us that Cafcass had requested a meeting with the clinical psychologist to seek further advice. Joe informed us that he naively assumed that both parents would be expected to attend this meeting.

However rather remarkably Joe was informed by Cafcass that the above mentioned meeting had been court ordered with the explicit instruction that neither parent could attend. Joe asked Cafcass why as parents they were prevented from attending this meeting to discuss moving forward regarding their very own children. Cafcass’ reply to Joe was that the Judge felt the parents were too high conflict and would disrupt the meeting. This is despite no historical evidence of any parental conflict, physical or verbal throughout any of the separation or any of the numerous meetings both parents have attended over the last two years.

As unfair as Joe felt the court order was he accepted it. Joe then asked Cafcass if he could at least submit questions for the clinical psychologist to answer regarding options and advice for progress. He got no reply. Joe then asked Cafcass if they could inform him of the date of the meeting. He got no reply, that is until the day after the meeting had taken place.

It is Joe’s strongly held belief that Cafcass delayed informing him of the date of the meeting until after it had taken place.

Cafcass are more than aware that this is a case of parental alienation. They have stated this themselves. However they are now insisting on what clearly appears to be an avoidance of their findings. They are now intensifying their approach that both parents simply need to work together. Here is an anonymised copy of the most recent email Joe received from Cafcass:

Dear Joe

The aim of the proposed meeting [Joe and ex are planning to meet up] is to assist you and Ex to come to arrangements for your children.  You and Ex disagree about a number of things, which is quite normal, as many parents do whether together or not.  You both disagree with elements of the interventions to date, whether that be Cafcass, Children’s Services, Court, Dr Jones etc. My aim is to encourage you as parents to reach some agreement on the way forward. It would be ideal if you and Ex could do this without my involvement or indeed the Court’s involvement, and I hope your planned meeting is successful.

Regards

Cafcass

As many of our readers and followers already know, Joe’s case is unfortunately not rare. It is a typical case of what occurs in the family court.

In the context of Joe’s case lets highlight the following injustices:

  • One parent is allowed to deny contact between the children and the other parent. This goes unchallenged by the family court and is in breach of Article 9 from The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  • A parent is allowed to breach court orders instructing contact between the children and the contact denied parent without any legal consequences being imposed on them.
  • In Joe’s case Cafcass rightly identified this as a case of parental alienation. However they are so obviously avoiding to effectively challenge the identified alienating parent. Instead, despite their very own findings, they are continuing to attribute equal blame on both parents.
  • Cafcass as an organisation, recognise and acknowledge parental alienation as a form of abuse. Their very own CEO publicly states that this kind of abuse should be dealt with the same severity as any other form of abuse inflicted on children. However Cafcass are allowed to take no action despite there being overwhelming evidence of the abuse of children.
  • The judge in this case was able to execute a court order for a meeting but did not permit the attendance of the parents based on his perception, not evidence. Family Courts here in the UK are closed. What this means is that due to the strict secrecy of the family court, it is often only when certain cases are heard in a criminal court that the public are allowed to know how badly some children are let down.
  • Joe has paid Child Maintenance in full from separation. However there is a financial incentive for resident parents to deny contact; Joe has always and will continue to pay full Child Maintenance because he does not have any contact with his children. However he is not absent from their lives by choice.
  • Joe has spent in excess of £30,000 on legal fees, simply to pursue through the family court his right to be a father to his children. £30,000 that could have been spent on his children’s futures.

This is not a definitive list of injustices in such cases. However it highlights the flawed system which should be ensuring justice and protecting children from harm.

But instead it is a system that is underpinned by a toxic, biased, profit-driven culture that serves no justice and fails to protect the victims.

And the victims are our children, our grandchildren; they deserve better, they deserve justice.


Please Note: If you are affected by any of the above issues and are in need of support regarding your well-being, mental health and/or seeking legal advice please do contact us.

We pledge to never make a profit or any other form of financial gain from any individuals affected by any of the above issues.

Should you be in need of more specialist professional advice we will gladly signpost you to such professionals that operate in line with our core principles.

We pledge to never request payment from such individuals, nor request a finder’s fee from these professionals for any referrals made.

The CCA Support Team