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Old 15-05-12, 11:44
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Default Online conference, 29/05/12: Dealing with Highly Intrusive Parasitic Public Servants

Following on from this thread, which is self explanatory, and as an antidote to the anti-parent bias of this conference, contributions are invited from forum members for 'keynote addresses' under the main headings of our alternative agenda and shorter comments relating the bulleted sections. Please copy/paste the numbered heading/section you are responding to in bold, followed by your contribution at any time during the day of the 'conference' and please try to stay on topic so that we can produce a document reflecting views of forum members. This is an experimental format which we are running with due to the level of interest in the subject, so thank you in advance for your participation.

Dealing with Highly Intrusive Parasitic Public Servants

Practical strategies to tackle intrusive threatening and bullying behaviour disguised as ‘support’

A conference for concerned parents and children
Online at Home Education Forums on 29/05/12


Pre-registration will be required to post on the forum discussions but comments are also welcome on the Facebook event page.

Please note that this conference, while aiming to give voice to alternative views to government's adopted-without-evidence policy of universal early intervention and forced delivery of compulsory 'services', acknowledges the necessity for statutory intervention in a minority of cases where there is actual, or properly risk-assessed evidence of the likelihood of, significant harm being caused to another person.

AGENDA (but we’ll go with the flow)


Opening remarks

1.“Stopping them in their tracks”: Building barriers to cope with overly intrusive public servants

a. Recognising and overcoming the many reasons public servants have for making ultra vires demands
b. Identifying the paths parents can take to deal with hostility and threats while maintaining minimal civil communication with intrusive public servants

2. Managing hostile situations

a. Dealing with aggressive and intimidating public servants
b. Guaranteeing personal safety in your home setting
c. Ensuring that motivation is not lost as a result of threatening encounters

3. Identifying indicators of disguised support and taking appropriate action to improve outcomes for your child

a. Lessons to be learned from serious case reviews (SCRs)and scapegoating
b. Moving beyond ‘box ticking’ to provide context to your dealings with public servants
c. Ensuring ‘parental optimism’, giving public servants the ‘benefit of the doubt’ and increased workloads in responding to enquiries do not interfere with your judgement on what is in the best interests of your child
d. The difficulties of assessing levels of risk to your family, particularly in cases of doorstepping and harassment. When enough is enough?
e. Listen to your child and analyse the evidence

4. Understanding the psychology of manipulative public servants to avoid inadvertently colluding with deception

a. How some public servants mislead parents in telephone and face to face communications through passive, covert manipulation
b. Methods to detect deceptive and ‘grooming’ behaviour amongst public servants
c. How independent networks and communities of interest can help parents to ascertain when they have been duped

5. Analysing Risk in Child Protection from Public Servants

a. Introducing a tried and tested model for risk assessment in these cases
b. Identifying clear pathways to forming judgements and making decisions in the best interests of your child
c. Ensuring that risk factors associated with intrusive and inappropriate behaviours like doorstepping are clearly identified and integral to your assessment

6. Identifying and managing risk

a. Assessing risk and decision making to ensure the safety and wellbeing of your child
b. The use of a virtual world in which parents and young people can safely reflect on the risks, challenges and complexities faced when 'judgement calls' have to be made
c. Locating the virtual world within a training tool that draws on game playing (Laming Lemmings), spoof conferences and satire to help parentsunderstand and manage situations where public servants are intrusive, pushy, deceptive or threatening

7. Public servants with statist mentality and/or authoritarian obsessive disorder

a. Recognising where obstructive or deceitful behaviour may be a result of a public servant’s statist mentality and/or authoritarian obsession disorder
b. Protecting the rights of children and affirming the presumption that parents (and their nominated carers) will act in their children’s best interests regardless of their socio-economic circumstances or lifestyle choices
c. Ensuring adults with statist mentality and/or authoritarian obsessive disorder are empowered to serve as public servants without violating the human rights of others
d. Professional ‘grooming’ by public servants
e. Community networking - preventing or resolving tension between families and public servants with state sponsored disorders

8. Accepting public servants’ cultural differences within the framework of the law: Dilemmas outlined and explored

a. Understanding how best to relate to public servants from an alien predominantly statist culture
b. Recognising where value judgements can get in the way of your ability to accurately assess public servants’ motives and agendae
c. Avoiding judging public servants based on your own cultural norms and assumptions
d. Knowing when it is appropriate for public servants to intervene in specific situations, and where statutory intervention should be respected

9. Best practice case studies

This session will follow real-life case studies where parents have encountered intrusive and manipulative public servants, but through the application of best practice and effective networking, communities have successfully resolved the issues and improved outcomes for the children concerned. The studies will cover:

a. The nature of the public servants’ lack of adherence to the law and prejudiced practice
b. How relevant communities worked together to counter the intrusive and threatening behaviour
c. What the outcomes were for the children and families concerned

10. Additional case studies and personal experiences of intrusive public servants
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Old 29-05-12, 08:18
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Default Opening Remarks



Thanks for plugging into our online conference which aims to highlight the dangers of pursuing the essentially misguided, blinkered, expensive, intrusive and unnecessary policy of universal early interference in family life, as promoted by government(s) and cleverly disguised as ‘support’.

Using a tried and tested combination of scare tactics and sensational child abuse cases (which invariably demonstrate public servant failure), policy-based-evidence has almost seamlessly replaced evidence-based-policy, while the presumption of innocence principle is simultaneously being eroded by purveyors of the “if you’ve got nothing to hide” mantra.

It is blindingly obvious to most of us here that identifying and protecting the small minority of children (and vulnerable adults) who are abused or neglected, whether in their own home or in a ‘care’ setting, is essentially more difficult when they are lumped in with the entire population. As child protection expert Eileen Munro has pointed out: “It doesn’t get easier to find a needle in a haystack if you make the haystack bigger.”

There now exists a veritable army of public sector locusts and third sector worker ants who have been bred by the nanny state and trained to force compulsory services like ‘education’ (i.e. schooling) on everyone and (literally) his dog. Resistance is futile unless you want to be labelled a ‘service resistant’ subversive who is at risk of being at risk of being at risk of (ad nauseam) demonstrating independent thought. Many of us attending today are proud to be service resistant, but might prefer the labels ‘self reliant’, ‘autonomous, ‘freethinking’ or ‘independent’. None of us involved in this conference believes that our way is the only ‘right’ way, and we both acknowledge and accept the diversity within our own community of interest, provided that no harm is done to others.

As we convene online today, participants will be aware that a new inquiry into ‘support’ for home education (in England)has just been announced by the UK Government, the consultation being timed to perfection as ever to coincide with the summer holiday period. Who would want to take part in another CONsultation after the Badman debacle and failure by the current UK government to take any action to curb councils’ ultra vires activities? Cynics might argue that there must be an ulterior motive and there will undoubtedly be ‘rent’ in it for somebody, quite possibly the new breed of home education ‘expert’ who likes to pretend s/he knows best for everyone else and that everyone should be compulsorily ‘offered’ support to achieve state dictated outcomes for their own good (and in their children’s best interests, also defined by the state, of course).

Please feel free to post under any of the agenda headings as the day goes on. What we are looking for are lots of contributions to illustrate the breadth of opinion that exists on dealing with the highly intrusive public servants you are likely to encounter as you go about your lawful business.
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Old 29-05-12, 08:35
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Thank you for already highlighting so many relevant issues that vigilant families can act upon. Our strength is not in oppression but in honest resistance & standing up for our principles. One area that I haven't had time to research, but hope to, is the significance of psychopathic behaviour in those who come to oppress the marginalised (or those perceived as such). If anyone is an expert on this, please share. Found Jon Ronson interesting!

The Psychopath Test... http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0330492276
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Old 29-05-12, 08:39
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Default 1. “Stopping them in their tracks”: Building barriers to cope with overly intrusive

1. “Stopping them in their tracks”: Building barriers to cope with overly intrusive public servants

The importance of networking to obtain relevant information from a variety of sources and peer support cannot be over estimated when it comes to stopping overly intrusive public servants in their tracks. It is unwise to believe everything you read on the Internet, but it is equally unwise to believe everything you are told by a public servant. While there have been home education and wider parenting mailing lists for many years, the explosion of social media like Facebook and Twitter in more recent times has encouraged greater sharing of experiences and helped individuals find others of like mind.
Public servants who seek to mislead (by ignorance or design) can no longer rely on their victims’ lesser knowledge of the law and can be publicly held to account. As evidenced throughout the Badman campaign, social media were exploited to the full, and especially effective use was made of the FOI Act on sites like What Do They Know and links to and from public forums and blogs. There is little doubt that networking, information sharing and peer support all help build effective barriers to cope with intrusive public servants.

1a Recognising and overcoming the many reasons public servants have for making ultra vires demands

These workers do what they are told – only following orders from their superior officers – so many have never bothered to think for themselves, ask questions or refer directly to the legislative framework they are supposed to work within. Those who do so usually become so frustrated in their efforts to effect change that they are spat out by the system or suffer breakdowns. We know some of them personally.

1b Identifying the paths parents can take to deal with hostility and threats while maintaining minimal civil communication with intrusive public servants

Get everything in writing. Do not believe everything you are told. Access peer support via communities of interest. Never be without a witness in face to face exchanges. Expect value judgements to be made about your lifestyle choices if they do not conform to the economically active consumerist norm as dictated by the state.
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Old 29-05-12, 08:56
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1.“Stopping them in their tracks”: Building barriers to cope with overly intrusive public servants

a. Recognising and overcoming the many reasons public servants have for making ultra vires demands

  • Because they are told to. There is a growing culture of automation, ticking boxes and "dumbing down" of professional provision rather than comprehensive trust in ability, individual skill sets and ongoing breadth of experience.
  • Because they are paid to. How many professionals rigorously question policy and legislation they rely on to pay their mortgage and bills?
  • Because they are scared of criticism. In the light of recent serious case reviews where children who were known to be at risk died, some professionals have advocated a move towards the lowest common denominator approach: "There will be times when (professionals) have to grasp the nettle, using professional judgment, in the knowledge that they may be proved to be mistaken. Better that than the harm that the child will have to experience instead." -- Graham Badman, failing to acknowledge the dreadful harm that false positives inflict on innocent families. Some professionals and commentators will say that child professionals are damned if they do and damned if they don't. I say in this article that this argument really has to be picked apart once and for all. Social workers should not damned for failing to keep all children safe at all times. We all know that's impossible. Social workers are probably damned when they fail to act on a mountain of referrals to save a child who even the stand-in milkman knew was being abused. And social workers will always be damned if they remove even one safe child from the protection of his or her loving family. It's that simple.
  • Because they genuinely believe it to be in the best interests of the child -- when the prevailing worldview is that parents are at fault and need to be corrected for the good of the children, this vehemence can be particularly dangerous and damning for innocent families who are on the fringes of convention by circumstance or choice.
  • Because groupthink can and will occur in an organisational environment -- even when an articulate individual questions the operational and strategic status quo, what chance do they have when employed by people who refuse to ask or answer those questions? Free-thinking individuals in such positions can be bullied, on medication to cope, driven off sick or even suspended.

b. Identifying the paths parents can take to deal with hostility and threats while maintaining minimal civil communication with intrusive public servants

Some possible courses of action you might want to consider, with the caveat that every family and situation is individual. This information is to help innocent families who have experienced unwarranted persecution at the hands of statutory agencies:
  • Don't make the first approach to authorities/statutory agencies - whether this is to ask for help or make a complaint. Definitely don't struggle alone - but if you need advice or support then go to completely independent organisations or individuals you know you can trust in real life. You can also look online for help. Avoid the urge to make formal complaints and instead take positive action of your own to remove yourself from a vexatious situation and/or make other people aware of it.
  • Develop and demonstrate that you have a strong and supportive network surrounding you. Friends, family, community, independent professionals - showing or talking about these links and relationships makes you far less likely to be singled out for unwanted attention.
  • Remember the superficial, too. If you are visited at home, then make sure that your house is clean and tidy and that you and your children are dressed and well-presented. No, it is not right. Yes, it is important. There are many things that can trigger a red flag and you can't predict all of them. But you can do a lot to help yourself.
  • Understand what you are really dealing with, regardless of how kind and supportive a professional appears. Do not take any statements at face value and think very carefully before you do what they ask of you. This goes for signing paperwork, handing children over for "temporary" or "voluntary" foster care, admitting any fault whatsoever, giving more information that the bare minimum, and submitting to psychological assessments conducted by their expert of choice.
  • Be polite, calm and respectful at all times. Only talk about the hurt likely to be caused to your children, rather than to yourself. As difficult as it might be, try to avoid shows of excessive upset, aggression or hostility. However, please bear in mind documents such as Lincolnshire's working with uncooperative and hostile families practice guidance which may give professionals carte blanche to deem you problematic no matter how you behave.
  • Always tell your children how much you love them and how, if ever they were taken from you, you would never, ever stop looking for them. Encourage them to respect their instincts and always to question the morality of authority. Make sure they learn their personal details as soon as they are old enough and tell them that wherever they are and whatever the circumstances they can always contact you.
  • Only ever work with a solicitor who is prepared to fight against the local authority where it is correct to do so. Find one who encourages you to speak out in court. If you cannot find a solicitor who is prepared to do this, then represent yourself.
  • If you are innocent and feel that your family is facing a truly significant threat, consider leaving the country before the case goes to court. This is a serious course of action that should be well thought through by anyone considering it - obviously - but it's certainly a legitimate one that others families have been grateful for.
  • As well as "real life" communities, the internet is your friend. Use it to connect with other people, spread the word, pass on resources and share whatever you deem to be appropriate or helpful to your case. Don't forget to educate yourself about the legality of the information you choose to share.

Hope there are some useful starting points for discussion here. Lisa xx

Last edited by Renegade Parent; 29-05-12 at 08:59. Reason: noticed an error from copying and pasting.
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Old 29-05-12, 09:12
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4. Understanding the psychology of manipulative public servants to avoid inadvertently colluding with deception

I guess I've developed an internal alarm for this one, there's a certain manner adopted by people who have to make the unacceptable more palatable. They always remain calm and avoid conflict or raised voices and will hedge and change the subject if directly challenged, often returning to it from another direction. A good example of this is Tony Blair, another was Tony Benn.

I've certainly seen it in action in my local LA team, who are keen to build relationships and offer support. I'm not sure that people in such posts understand the concept of "no thank you", to them it means they've failed to explain exactly why you should be saying yes and so they'll try again. A good example of this is the EU and referenda, saying 'no' merely means you get to repeat the exercise.
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Old 29-05-12, 09:17
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Default 2. Managing hostile situations

2. Managing hostile situations

Hostile situations need careful handling and usually back up from others, online and/or in real life, so that careful records of incidents can be kept. Examples we have come across include:
• Appearance of uninvited public servants on a family’s doorstep whose stated concerns relate wholly to the family’s decision to exercise lawful parenting choices (such as home education)
• Threats of prosecution for failing to send a child to a school in which his/her safety cannot be guaranteed
• Claiming right of entry to a private home and/or unsupervised access to a child when no such routine right exisits
• Making various other ultra vires demands and threats

2a Dealing with aggressive and intimidating public servants

Don’t allow such operatives anywhere near you, and most especially your children. If caught in a surprise attack, express understanding of how they may have been misled into believing they have a vital role to play in your life and ask them to go away and write you a letter with all their ‘concerns’. Do not engage with aggressive and intimidating public servants by telephone other than to invite them to put their ‘concerns’ in writing or refer them to websites with accurate information about your lawful parenting choices.

2b Guaranteeing personal safety in your home setting

Keep the door bolted and do not allow strangers access to your home unless by invitation. Always ask for references (visit their homes and examine their computer hard drives if at all possible ). Never leave them alone with your children, no matter how friendly they appear.

2c Ensuring that motivation is not lost as a result of threatening encounters

It can be difficult to maintain motivation in the face of ongoing attacks by public servants on your lawful lifestyle choices and your family’s privacy, but you will find support from other parents and might even want to take up marathon training to build up stamina.
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Old 29-05-12, 09:18
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Parents should remember that never in Britain have public employees had a duty to monitor their employers!
If considered logically a person wanting to work with children has to have a crb check, this is a paper exercise , no public servant has power to interview them or their families nor enter their homes to monitor their suitability so why is the monitoring of family life being muted as a positive??
Once monitoring of one section of society has been legalized the framework is there for a roll out, what next? the children of prisoners being labelled as possibly needing support and therefore in need of monitoring? So many reasons these parasites can think up in their tax payer funded ]wonderland to ensure their jobs are safe .
I may sound like I am confusing this thread and the inquiry thread but I really find it hard to describe how parasitic these people are and why.

Last edited by Elaine Kirk; 29-05-12 at 09:42. Reason: question
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Old 29-05-12, 09:48
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Wonderful to have so many comments so early - unlike the public servants who get well paid to attend conferences (and a free lunch too!) most of us have to "attend" in between work commitments and/or looking after our own children (an alien concept for public servants types).

Something that makes dealing with these people more difficult is that many of them are unaware of the monster they're bringing into being and are themselves being manipulated into becoming data collectors for "experts" slightly further up the food chain.

They have their egos boosted, their various professions praised, their opinions sought through endless "CONsultations" and then one way or another the data-grabbing system monster progresses as was intended all along.

One example of this is from Report on the independent evaluation exercise carried out by Lanarkshire Getting it right for every child Research Team.

Quote:
Despite practitioners reporting
concerns about the volume of change, the majority remained enthusiastic about the
prospect of practice change to support Getting it right for every child. However, a
substantial number of practitioners associated Getting it right for every child with very
vulnerable children and families and a need was identified to raise awareness within
universal services of education and health in order to shift the focus to every child.
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Old 29-05-12, 09:48
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Default 3 Identifying indicators of disguised support and taking appropriate action to improv

3. Identifying indicators of disguised support and taking appropriate action to improve outcomes for your child

Be very wary of the assumption that ‘support’ is something all parents need or want. Public servants will often use language to denote voluntary participation when what they mean is the forced uptake of de facto compulsory services and monitoring how well parents and their children are meeting state dictated outcomes as economic units. Consider how strongly ‘early years’ education and day care for babies are pushed to get all parents out to work (paying taxes) and all children into institutions. Those who choose to ignore the government’s growing nudge industry are accused not only of failing to serve the economy and big burger-flipping corporate interests, but also of failing to uphold their children’s rights to own the latest gadgets and designer trainers (mostly produced by other children in third world sweatshops). Every Consumer Counts.

3a Lessons to be learned from serious case reviews (SCRs)

Serious Case Reviews (and their predecessor inquiries) consistently show that it is public servants who have almost always got things wrong when a child tragically dies or is subject to serious abuse or neglect. Invariably these public servants will try to shift the blame by finding a suitable scapegoat and home education is an old favourite fall guy which has worked well in the past (e.g. when a child known to be vulnerable was less of a priority than public servants’ partying), despite home educated children being far less likely to suffer abuse or neglect. Such underhand smear tactics have even resulted in home educating families and home educated children being abused and vilified in the community.

3b Moving beyond ‘box ticking’ to provide context to your dealings with public servants

When dealing with tick box tyrants who are intruding into our family’s private life, it is hard to facilitate their transition to thinking outside the state sponsored bubble in which they have been contained. You can try to educate them by pointing out the parameters of the law, sending relevant links and even meeting with them formally to explain concepts they don’t understand. However, they tend to be ‘change resistant’ as it might affect their promotion prospects, and those who do show initiative tend to be moved, fired or succumb to nervous breakdowns.

3c Ensuring ‘parental optimism’, giving public servants the ‘benefit of the doubt’ and increased workloads in responding to enquiries do not interfere with your judgement on what is in the best interests of your child

Human nature being what it is, many of us are inclined to give public sevants the benefit of the doubt as we like to think the best of others’ motives. However, we should never mistake ultra vires activity for ‘support’, no matter how smiley and helpful the public servant might appear. Whether by ignorance or design, you should not be misled about the law or about the support which they claim ‘may be available’ (invariably there will be none, or it will be determined by a public servant ‘expert’, i.e. complete stranger, and won’t be what your child needs). It will undoubtedly take time and energy to establish the ‘support’ (as opposed to interference) they are allegedly offering, and to respond to them appropriately, but public servants are supposed to exist to serve you as you fulfil your parenting role in the way you see fit in the best interests of your child.

3d The difficulties of assessing levels of risk to your family, particularly in cases of doorstepping and harassment. When enough is enough?

When placed in a vulnerable position by public servants who misconstrue and/or misrepresent their role in relation to your lawful parenting choices, it can be difficult to objectively assess the level of risk to your family. When you feel the ‘reasonable’ line has been, or is at risk of being crossed, by a public servant, it can often be useful to sound out and seek views from others in your community of interest and/or wider network to help you decide how to respond to ultra vires demands or behaviours.

3e Listen to your child and analyse the evidence

The voice of your child is paramount and you are best placed to act in his/her best interests, not some stranger with a vested interest in pushing state sponsored services disguised as ‘support’. In the vast majority of cases, a parent is much better able to weigh up the pros and cons of accepting or refusing services based on an individual child’s needs and wishes, and those parents who wish to avail themselves of state sponsored support for their children should not be denied access but provided with it on their own terms and unconditionally.
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The Following 10 Users Say Thank You to Ali Admin For This Useful Post:
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