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I suspect every parent has horror stories to tell - if they are honest.  Our son had relatively minor accidental falls two weeks in a row.  When we brought him to casualty the second time there was a natural suspicion of NAI (non accidental injury).  My wife was a social worker and knew the drill well.  It didn't take from the embarrassment, even hough no problems ensued.

There is a myth that you can and should provide a totally safe environment at all times and that someone has to be at fault for every accident - probably perpetrated by our legal systems and compensation cultures.  Life isn't always safe.  Accidents will happen, and whilst many can be prevented, that is not always possible.  Imprisoning parents does more damage to a child's development that all but serious neglect and of course abuse.

It is very very difficult to get the balance right between protecting and harming a child by blaming the parents.  Techniques for detecting willful harm and abuse are anything but fool proof.  But fostering children is almost always harmful - especially as most fostering is short term and children are passed on and on.

The presumption of innocence has to favour parents unless really significant evidence emerges.  Otherwise far more children are hurt by the process rather than saved from abuse.


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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jan 11th, 2008 at 01:41:23 PM EST

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