This is the joint website of  Women Against Rape and Black Women's Rape Action Project. Both organisations are based on self-help and provide support, legal information and advocacy. We campaign for justice and protection for all women and girls, including asylum seekers, who have suffered sexual, domestic and/or racist violence.

WAR was founded in 1976. It has won changes in the law, such as making rape in marriage a crime, set legal precedents and achieved compensation for many women. BWRAP was founded in 1991. It focuses on getting justice for women of colour, bringing out the particular discrimination they face. It has prevented the deportation of many rape survivors. Both organisations are multiracial.

 

 

 

Children & Social Work Bill in the Lords on Tues 8 Nov - please write in

 Dear Friends,

This is a long email but full of information. It includes:

-        Our letter published in the Guardian

-        Lobbying the Lords – their names and numbers

-        A model letter you can use to make your case. A number of mothers have written in from their own experience and are getting good responses!

-        If you have any questions email us back or call us on: 020 7482 2496.

 

Children & Social Work Bill – back in the Lords on Tues 8 Nov

This is a charter for rape and social cleansing. We must stop it.

The Bill we have been opposing since the summer is back in the House of Lords for report stage on Tuesday 8 November at 3pm. We need as many people as possible to email or call expressing their strong opposition to the Bill – not only to privatisation but to all its measures, particularly the push for adoption.

Our letter signed by five organisations, making these points and exposing some of the corruption driving this Bill, was published in the Guardian on 25 October.

 

Family support at risk from children’s bill

“The national child abuse inquiry was set up in response to a massive survivors’ movement to examine how and why local authorities and others failed to protect children. Even before it started, the government wanted to exempt these institutions from public scrutiny. The Children and Social Work Bill would enable local authorities to remove statutory protections from the most vulnerable – children in custody and in care (Social workers row over children’s bill, 19 October). Given the history, this amounts to a rapists’ charter”.

Privatisation passes for innovation. Isabelle Trowler, chief social worker for children and families and chief promoter of the bill, co-founded Morning Lane, a private company working with 25 local authorities. KPMG, which partners Morning Lane, has been awarded a £2m government contract. When questioned, Trowler dismissed it as “peanuts”. But the children’s social work budget is estimated at £6.5bn, and Credit Suisse and others are behind private companies like Frontline, which are already training social workers.

We share the horror of whistleblowers and Together for Children that child protection services may be privatised. But we seem to be alone in objecting to the bill promoting adoption as the “gold standard” and to resources going to “corporate parenting” while impoverished families get nothing.

There isn’t even a duty to consult children and their mothers about their feelings and wishes. The life-long trauma of separation, however hidden, to children and biological families, is hardly mentioned. Britain already has the highest adoption rate in Europe – 90% without the consent of the birth families.

We hold monthly self-help meetings with mothers struggling to keep their children from social workers instructed to prioritise adoption and foster care. Some mothers lose their children after reporting domestic violence – penalised for “failing to protect” them.

Others are young, scared and inexperienced – penalised for “failing to convince” that they could be “capable” parents while a wealthier family waits to take their child. All are low-income families, many with precarious housing, learning difficulties or a disability, many black or immigrant. The incentives to discriminate will vastly increase with privatisation.

Cristel Amiss Black Women’s Rape Action Project   bwrap@rapeaction.net

Anne Neale Legal Action for Women   law@allwomencount.net

Lisa Longstaff Women Against Rape   war@womenagainstrape.net

Nina Lopez Global Women’s Strike   gws@globalwomenstrike.net
Kim Sparrow Single Mothers’ Self-Defence   smsd@allwomencount.net

 

Community Care reported that the government has admitted “errors in its handling of [Isabelle Trowler] the chief social worker’s ‘conflict of interest’.

This bill is being debated just as the benefit cap comes in: 88,000 families may be left with not enough money for rent and food; 500,000 children impoverished. No one knows how many will then be taken into care or adopted as their parents are accused of “neglect” for no longer being able to keep a roof over their heads!

The Bill can be defeated but we need to be mobilise now as it comes back to the Lords and when it goes to the Commons.

The emails and numbers of the people to contact are also below. You can also sign a petition against the Bill Protect the rights of vulnerable children and care leavers.

Anne, Cristel, Kim, Lisa, Nina


MODEL LETTER

Dear Lord/Lady…

I am totally opposed to the Children and Social Work. As a mother/grandmother/dad/teacher/concerned person… use your own experience and the points below to make your case.

●  The government push for adoption is cruel and traumatic to children and families, especially mothers and grandmothers.

●  It disregards children’s views, wishes and feelings about the people they love and want to live and/or have contact with.

●  There is no support for mothers and kinship carers (family and friends) only for adoptive and foster parents.

●  It discriminates against low income families, who are most likely to have their children taken into care, especially with the benefit cap and other cuts. Some are also families of colour and/or disabled, discriminated on that basis too.

●  Children in care are four times more likely to experience mental health difficulties.

●  Removing statutory protections and privatising children’s services is a charter for rape and social cleansing.

I urge you to support the following amendments to the Children & Social Work Bill, but also to speak out for children and their birth families and demand that financial support be available to keep families together rather than to tear us apart.

Your name, etc…


Children and Social Work Bill amendments

CLAUSE 9
After CL 9, AMDT 33, New Clause: Profit-making and children’s social services functions

After CL 9 AMDT 35, New Clause: Duty to report on outcomes

CLAUSE 28
After CL 28, AMDT 52, New Clause: Whistleblowing arrangement in relation to looked after children and children at risk

After CL 28, AMDT 53, New Clause: Public interest disclosure in relation to looked after children and children at risk

CLAUSE 29
AMDT 57, leave out CL 29

CLAUSE 30
AMDT 58, leave out CL 30

CLAUSE 31
AMDT 64, leave out CL 31

CLAUSE 32
AMDT 66, leave out CL 32

CLAUSE 33
AMDT 68, leave out CL 33

After CL 33: AMDT 69, New Clause: UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

After CL 33: AMDT 70, New Clause: Safeguarding Unaccompanied Refugee Children

CLAUSE 40
After CL 40: AMDT 72, New Clause: Whistleblowing arrangement in relation to social workers

After CL 40: AMDT 73, New Clause: Public interest disclosure by social workers


Lords names and emails

Leading on amendments are Lords Watson (Lab), Lord Hunt (Lab), Lord Ramsbotham (Crossbench) and Baroness Pinnock (Lib Dem).

Lord

Watson

Labour

020 7219 5353

watsonm@parliament.uk

 

Lord

Hunt

Labour

020 7219 2030

huntp@parliament.uk

 

Lord

Ramsbotham

Crossbench

020 7219 8752

ramsbothamd@parliament.uk

 

Baroness

Pinnock

Lib Dem

020 7219 5353

pinnockk@parliament.uk

 

TITLE

NAME

PARTY

PHONE

EMAIL

 

Baroness

Hodgson

Conservative

020 7219 5353

hodgsonf@parliament.uk

 

Baroness

Benjamin

Lib Dem

020 7219 8901

benjaminf@parliament.uk

 

Lord

Bichard

Crossbench

020 7219 5353

m.bichard@btinternet.com

 

Baroness

Dean

Labour

020 7219 5353

deanb@parliament.uk

 

Lord

Farmer

Conservative

020 7219 6565

callans@parliament.uk

 

Lord

Brown

   

sdbrown@blueyonder.co.uk

 

Baroness

Cavendish

Conservative

 

contactholmember@parliament.uk

 

Baroness

Howarth

Crossbench

020 7219 5353

howarthv@parliament.uk

 

Baroness

Howe

Crossbench

020 7219 5353

howee@parliament.uk

 

Baroness

Bakewell

Labour

020 7219 2921

joanbakewell@googlemail.com

 

Baroness

Boothroyd

Crossbench

 

boothroyd@parliament.uk

 

Baroness

Lister

Labour

020 7219 8984

listerr@parliament.uk

 

Lord

Listowel

Crossbench

020 7219 5353

listowelf@parliament.uk

 

Lord

Mackay

Conservative

020 7219 6041

mackayjp@parliament.uk

 

Baroness

Massey

Labour

020 7219 8653

masseyd@parliament.uk

 

Baroness

Meacher

Crossbench

020 7219 4081

meachermc@parliament.uk

 

Lord

O’Shaughnessy

Conservative

020 7219 5353

contactholmember@parliament.uk

 

Lord

Bishop of Durham

 

013 8860 2576

Bishop.of.durham@durham.
anglican.org

 

Baroness

Shephard

Conservative

020 7219 5353

westm@parliament.uk

 

Baroness

Tonge

Lib Dem

020 7219 4827

tongej@parliament.uk

 

Baroness

Tyler

Lib Dem

020 7219 3606

tylerc@parliament.uk

 

Baroness

Walmsley

Lib Dem

020 7219 6047

walmsleyj@parliament.uk

 

Lord

Warner

None

020 7219 4540

warnern@parliament.uk

 

Lord

Wills

Labour

020 7219 5353

willisg@parliament.uk

 

 

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