Thursday, 21 July 2022

Closed - no action?

More is emerging about the case of the child who died from malnutrition. Now claims are being made that the child, indeed the family, were well known to social welfare agencies - but nothing was done. The resources were not there.

Really? It seems extraordinary to me that children should be left in a place where the male partner stabbed the female multiple times. His case may have been "downgraded" from attempted murder to "grevious bodily harm" but he was obviously a danger. His partner took him back.

I know - that seems unbelievable but it happens. It happens more often than we like to acknowledge.  I don't understand the psychology behind this but I have known women who still believe it is "all my fault" even after they have finally broken away.  Even when they do not believe this they can still feel at least partially responsible for what has happened. It can have a devastating effect on children - even more so than being removed from the family.  

In the current case the child also had a medical condition which required a particular diet but was clearly not getting that diet. I suspect it will be shown that the mother was incapable of providing it and maintaining it. If, as said earlier in court, she "lacks insight" it is all too possible that she is also "lacking in education". Feeding multiple children in her circumstances would not have been easy anyway. What would she know about nutrition? In all likelihood she knows very little about nutrition. A child with special dietary needs would have been too much for her to handle. 

I have been in to the supermarkets in those areas. The items available there differ from the items available here. While I sometimes despair of what is available here there is nothing like the same amount of "cheap" packet and tinned meals - meals that require very little preparation and sometimes none at all. The lovely person who does the heavy cleaning for Middle Cat and who comes once a fortnight to wash the floors here (for a miniscule sum but won't accept more) also shops while she is here.  She does it because she is aware and conscious of dietary needs and says, "I can get things here I can't get out there. It actually saves money in the long run." Yes, but she has the intelligence and the ability to cook large amounts and freeze meals and knows how to budget. 

If we are going to maintain the policy of keeping mothers and children together whatever else is going on then we need to be teaching these things in school - and then monitoring at risk families to see these things actually occur. It is not what school should really be about. Ideally you learn these things at home or, as I did, from a grandparent or other relative. But what is best? Learning about other "social issues" or learning not to become one yourself? 

1 comment:

Beryl Kingston said...

If you are beaten - viciously- and every time you're beaten you're told that it is your fault because you're an evil wicked child, you end up believing the abuser's excuse. I know it sounds peculiar and unlikely but it's true. I know because it happened to me from the time I was five.