We will share details about a UK family’s battle’s in a UK High Court to try to get their daughter *Katie the therapeutic professional help for Reactive Attachment Disorder she needs.
Many more families, like Katie’s family that are in desperate need of Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy to help their children are ignored, judged and blamed in their attempts to get the RIGHT help for their hurting and traumatised children…..this family were granted the right to receive the required help by a High Court Judge – yet the local authority deem themselves a higher authority than the Highest Court and made every effort to stop the child being able to attend Family Futures, based in London. Family Futures are one of only a few treatment specialist centres that have the correct resources and complement of professionals educated fully about Reactive Attachment Disorder and trained to offer treatment plans that help families and the child suffering from the disorder.
Coventry Local Authority ignored the judgement in this case, and a troubled young person is now left to slip through the cracks into adulthood, left carrying her disabling early childhood wounds that are commonly described as ‘REACTIVE ATTACHMENT DISORDER’.
Unable to keep her safe at home due to absconding and engaging in extremely risky behaviour – they felt at a complete loss to keep their daughter safe. The young person is currently in the care of the state and the parents have been told to have no further contact with the child. The professionals now in sole care of this troubled young person
Katie’s parents were unwilling to stop the fight for their daughter’s RIGHT to Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy. These parents fought hard in a court of law for their daughter’s RIGHT to a happy, safe and successful future. Despite the High Court judgement that Katie should have received treatment from Family Futures social services were unwilling to secure the therapy required.
Eventually, after years of Katie’s parents continuing the long battle in court to force Social Services to adhere to the original Court ruling that their adopted daughter needed therapy with Family Futures, Katie finally attended one meeting there to start the therapeutic process. However, according to Social Services, Katie decided she did not wish to return to Family Futures for therapy and they were ‘respecting her decision’. The local authority remained defiant that Katie did not need to go for professional therapeutic help, despite Katie being raped whilst in local authority care and continuing to present a multitude of clearly disturbed behaviours whilst the Local Authority had Corporate Parenting responsibilities for this young person.
This must pose the question – why are Social Services not being investigated and exposed for this clear lack of interest in this young person’s future and presenting mental health issues ? Why are Social Services able to ignore a court ruling in the manner they did and suffer no consequences ? Any parent that refused to seek required treatment for a child would feel the full force of Social Workers and the UK the legal system and be considered unfit and neglectful parents.
- IT WOULD BE CRUEL TO LEAVE A CHILD WITH A BROKEN ARM AND NEVER SEEK MEDICAL TREATMENT – YET PROFESSIONALS LEAVE THESE CHILDREN IN THEIR MENTAL TORMENT AND PAIN.
Despite the parent’s heartbreak and pain at the situation with their daughter Katie. Their biggest worry remains that she is lost to them forever. These determined parents have continued to fight to have details of Katie’s case published and made available to the public. Katie’s parents hope that by sharing the shocking truth about their story and lack of support and help – that R.A.D will become more widely recognised with both professionals and society in general. Awareness about Reactive Attachment Disorder will help families trapped in isolation to receive appropriate help, free from blame or condemnation. Ensure professionals become educated on R.A.D and work towards ensuring that these children are no longer left in their pain and torment.
Sadly, Colleges and Universities do not offer training or education for professionals that will work with children enough, if any, information about Reactive Attachment Disorder. Many of these professionals are making life changing decisions that can destroy family structures, yet they remain completely and fully ignorant of this condition. These professionals in trusted and powerful positions able to interfere in a family life and make massive judgements on that family……are often completely ignorant as to the resulting difficulties for both the child(ren) and their families that are attempting to lovingly raise children that suffer from childhood trauma. These professionals have absolutely no knowledge or information as to the complex and difficult position loving families are in raising seriously disturbed children, capable of serious crimes in some cases. This must change.
Herein follows some relevant extracts of the official UK court case that is detailed on the Baillii website that details Katie’s case and her families mission – to get her professional help. The family have fought hard to secure the ONLY professional help able to offer Katie the opportunity to enjoy a safe, secure and happy future full of bright prospects. Therapy that would give her a chance to work on those deep wounds that have profoundly impacted on her development, the consequences devastating for Katie. Katie will never have the chance to receive this desperately needed help – due to lack of funding, due to serious lack of professional awareness about the condition.
Heartbreakingly, the family did not receive help and more importantly Katie did not receive any help for her torment or deep emotional wounds – instead, they have all been seriously let down by the system that declares they work at all times in the best interests of the child……this case proves this was the last thing on the agenda. Katie’s case is sadly not an isolated case.
[Judgement point 12]: “The first point relates to the subject matter of the judgment of 19 February. Katie is a young person who suffers from RAD. Her need for therapy is clear and longstanding. At the time of my judgment of 19 February that need was unmet. The delay in addressing that need continued to be a matter of great concern. It is not an exaggeration to say that the provision of appropriate therapy for Katie is crucial to her long-term future. If there is a public interest in telling this family’s story (and I remain satisfied that there is) then this issue is an important part of that story. It should be told unless to do so would compromise Katie’s anonymity.”
The following extracts are direct quotes from a UK High Court Judge that ruled Katie’s parents have the freedom and right to publish the shocking common practices and failings of Social Workers and other professional statutory agencies. The professionals in the case remain uneducated and unaware how their interventions into these situations actually damage these children more deeply. Sadly it is common for children that live in adoptive, foster or at times, a non birth parents care after sufferering abuse, neglect or abandonment by birth families leading to difficulties such as Reactive Attachment Disorder. These children then live within the homes of every day, normal people like the majority of families in society. These new families are not prepared for the issues or deep, ingrained wounds and mental health problems these children suffer as a result of their early experiences. The often troubled and pathological behaviours that result from a child from a child living in a constant state of survival and trauma.
- These families then receive little to no crucial professional therapeutic help.
- Very few [if any] professionals understand.
- No agency offers effective help or support.
- These children are wounded and hurting.
- Lashing out in anger in pain – the innocent family then becomes the child’s target.
- The child’s condition renders them unable to give or receive love.
These children will vehemently protect their hearts from ever being vulnerable again after their first experiences of care givers. Parents then plead for help and support for the children they love, for the children trapped in their own pain and anger. The Parents desperately fighting to set them free. Love is NOT enough.
In Katie’s story – we will highlight how common it is for parents to be treated with contempt by professional agencies in their quest for help and support. The child’s best interests are NOT at the forefront of the UK social services agenda, or indeed any other partner agencies that create multi disciplinary teams involved in the ‘care’ of needy and troubled children with R.A.D and Attachment Disorders and their families. Katie’s case is unfortunately common for children and young people suffering from R.A.D. There are thousands more families in the same position, but their stories remain hidden or undisclosed……until now.
[Judgement; point 9] ‘The compelling need for transparency in the family justice system is demanded as a matter of both principle and pragmatism. So far as concerns principle I can do no better than repeat what Lord Steyn said in R v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex p Simms  2 AC 115, 126, where, having referred to Holmes J’s dissenting judgment in Abrams v United States (1919) 250 US 616, he continued:
“freedom of speech is the lifeblood of democracy. The free flow of information and ideas informs political debate. … It facilitates the exposure of errors in the … administration of justice of the country.”
 “This takes me on to the next point. It is vital that public confidence in the family justice system is maintained or, if eroded, restored. There is a clear and obvious public interest in maintaining the confidence of the public at large in the courts. It is vitally important, if the administration of justice is to be promoted and public confidence in the courts maintained, that justice be administered in public – or at least in a manner which enables its workings to be properly scrutinised – so that the judges and other participants in the process remain visible and amenable to comment and criticism. This principle, as the Strasbourg court has repeatedly reiterated, is protected by both Article 6 and Article 10 of the Convention. It is a principle of particular importance in the context of care and other public law cases.”
Why are Katie’s parents wishing their story to become public common knowledge?
Judgement; point 24:
- “I turn, finally, to the third issue raised by the parents and that is their request for a Declaration that it shall not be a contempt of court to publish the following information:
i their reflections and feelings on the material set out in the judgments in this case that have been published on Bailii and in particular their experiences of adoptive parenting and being part of a family with a child with RAD including the implications for the adoptive siblings of that child and for wider family members;
ii their contention that better outcomes might have been possible in the case of Katie including consideration of all aspects from the availability of respite care, the accuracy of social care records (including Data Protection Act implications) and value for money;
iii their contentions about the need for greater recognition of reactive attachment disorder, treatment options and support for the families involved from social services;
iv their relationship with Coventry City Council and their experience of dealing with that local authority since they adopted Katie and in particular their contention that the local authority’s failure to accept and follow expert advice regarding RAD and the treatment of it has led to an outcome for Katie where she is now at much greater risk of serious harm; and
v their views about the secrecy order and the ex parte order forbidding the parties from speaking to the media and the subsequent variation of those orders.
- The parents now wish to discuss, firstly, their reflections and feelings on the material set out in the judgments in this case that have been published on Bailii and in particular their experiences of adoptive parenting and being part of a family with a child with RAD including the implications for the adoptive siblings of that child and for wider family members.”
The Judges views on the parents requests to expose the difficulties getting help for Katie.
[Judgement: points 44 – 53] ” In my judgment, the parents do not require any further relaxation of the restrictions imposed by s.12 in order to discuss these matters. There is already sufficient factual information in the public domain to enable the parents to have a meaningful discussion with the media about these matters.
- Secondly, the parents wish to discuss their contention that better outcomes might have been possible in Katie’s case including consideration of all aspects from the availability of respite care, the accuracy of social care records (including Data Protection Act implications) and value for money.
- Again, I cannot see that any further relaxation of the restrictions imposed by s.12 is necessary in order for the parents to be able to engage in a meaningful discussion about those issues. The published judgments already contain references to social care records and to the issue of respite care. It was neither necessary nor appropriate that the published judgments should have contained even more detail concerning those issues. In so far as the parents may wish to discuss publicly any records or documents relating to these issues which are not already referred to in the published judgments they should identify clearly which documents they wish to refer to, why they say it is necessary for them to be able to do so and why they say it would be proportionate to relax the restrictions even further in order to enable them to do so.
- Thirdly, the parents wish to discuss publicly their contentions about the need for greater recognition of reactive attachment disorder, treatment options and support for the families involved from social services.
- Once again, I cannot see that it is necessary to relax the s.12 restrictions any further in order to enable the parents to discuss their contentions publicly and in a meaningful way. I am in no doubt that there is already sufficient information in the public domain to enable them to discuss this issue meaningfully.
- Fourthly, the parents wish to be able to discuss publicly their relationship with Coventry City Council and their experience of dealing with the local authority since they adopted Katie and in particular their contention that the local authority’s failure to accept and follow expert advice regarding RAD and the treatment of it has led to an outcome for Katie where she is now at much greater risk of serious harm. It is in this context that the parents also seek permission to name Jane Dunne (a social work Team Manager), Andy Waugh (Jane Dunne’s manager), Andy Pepper (Deputy Director of Social Services), Colin Green (at the relevant time the Director of Children’s Services) and Bob Dhammi (the Independent Reviewing Officer).
- I have already referred to the increasing trend in favour of identifying some of the principal participants involved in care proceedings. In light of the authorities to which I have referred I can see no reason to refuse the parents’ request for permission to identify those professionals in their discussions with the media. However, that permission is subject to the qualifications that they may only name those individuals in the context of discussing the factual information already in the public domain.
- Fifthly, the parents wish to be able to discuss with the media their views about the secrecy order (referred to in my published judgment of 27 July 2012) and the ex parte order forbidding the parties from speaking to the media (referred to in my published judgment of 25 July 2013) and the subsequent variation of those orders. “
Katie’s mum will be sharing further information and historical factual information about Katie’s Story on this blog to help people understand more about Reactive Attachment Disorder and the devastation it causes for both the child victims and their families tirelessly trying to help them escape its tight grip on their lives.
Education about Reactive Attachment Disorder remains limited. Our children are relying on YOU becoming educated. Please HELP US – HELP THEM.
Katie’s mum has not been allowed contact with Katie for a couple of years due to Social Services advising contact is not in Katie’s best interests. Katie’s mum has not given up hope of rebuilding the relationship with her daughter. Katie’s 18th Birthday has now come and gone, and her family that loved her for many years were unable to wish her a Happy Birthday and let her know how much they still love and care for her.
Katie’s mother is working hard to raise awareness for others in a similar position, as there are many more. These children and young people are at serious risk without the right help at the right time.
The current system is broken – we need change.
Visit Katie’s mum’s blog here: