Senior family law judge Sir Mark Hedley has spoken of the “highly defensive atmosphere” which surrounds social workers in the wake of high profile abuse cases like the ‘Baby P’ scandal.
In an interview for a forthcoming TV documentary on “forced” adoption, Sir Mark spoke of the pressure placed on social services to prevent “future disasters like that” from recurring.
“That has meant, I think, that there is increased regulation, there is an increased pressure on social workers to intervene where they might not have done so in the past.”
As a result, social workers sometimes failed to fully consider alternatives to adoption, he believes. The judge told interviewers:
“…there is often a failure to think through the implications of adoption as opposed for example to long-term fostering or to trying to find a special guardian amongst the members of the family”.
Exposure: Don’t Take My Child explores the reality behind claims of forced adoption, and the effect of the Children and Families Act 2014. It is due to be broadcast on ITV tonight (July 15) on ITV at 10.35pm.