In everything we do, in everything we hope to achieve, our children are our priority. This is their future that we are building, their lives we wish to build up. We are overjoyed that they have written in to PAR, such that we can share them.
Our four young voices in this issue are from three teen girls and one younger girl. These girls’ bold, fresh voices brought so much energy into my computer, I truly hope that everyone who reads them will find their spirit and determination equally as energising.
Advice and experiences of Parents
Living the experience of child protection, as a parent or grandparent is one of frustration, fear, stress and pain.
Growing up, regardless of the experience, we all look forward to the day we are officially in charge of our lives. Child protection takes that away. Parents no longer feel empowered to build a future of their own making. Many are restricted in where they can live, when they can see their child, what they can even say to their child and with whom they can have a relationship.
Advocacy can help parents to feel more empowered through the child protection process, and gives them a vital support. Children come with parents, and when they are removed parents often feel discarded by the process. No longer deemed necessary to their child’s life.
Children need parents. It is long overdue, parents’ deserve a voice.
Fiightback is an organisation started five years ago by parents who have been falsely accused of FII.
What is FII? FII stands for fabricated or induced illness, or in old money, Munchausen’s by proxy. This accusation has been on the rise as master classes on the subject become more popular. FII is an incredibly rare form of child abuse. A very serious for of child abuse, whereby a parent harms their child through inducing or inventing illness.
Too many parents of children with additional needs, rare or complex illness, or medical negligence find themselves going through the child protection process as part of an investigation. This accusation rips apart families, destroys financial security and can delay and hinder the necessary support or medical treatment children need.
The parents who go through such a terrible accusation come out the other side feeling traumatised and very alone. Having been attacked by those who we are meant to trust most. Fiightback was established to support, educate and help parents rebuild their lives.
Professional have the power to change and enrich the lives of children and families. So many of them do so with great care and determination. When professionals work in partnership with parents, it changes the lives of children in an exceptional way.
We are delighted to have advice from legal professionals, social work, and the Lifelong Links team at Edinburgh council. The professionals in the following articles will share their experience and knowledge in an easy to understand way about topics which are important to parents.