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Child Psych-is this dodgy or not?

Sat Mar 27, 2010 3:14 pm

On Wednesday a child psych turned up at my son's school- COMPLETELY UNANNOUNCED. The Headmaster was out for the day.. The school secretary and his teacher didn't know what to do, so let her in. She dragged my son out of lessons for most of the day.

My son then came to contact and announced, 'some lady is coming to talk to you and watch us'. We looked at the contact/social worker (the only one we trust) and she said, I have no knowledge of this- what is going on? I will ring the office. They said they had no knowledge either.

This woman breezes in half way through contact and my son said 'that's the lady who made me take tests all day'. We tried to ignore her BUT she was very demanding- I want a strong black coffee- I am hungry and I want chocolate NOW. We tried everything to behave normally and be polite. Then, suddenly 5 minutes before the end of contact, she announced she would be following my husband and I home 'for a chat'. We felt backed into a corner and agreed.

We got home and I said, sorry it is a bit messy, but we haven't been home much. (In truth, the house was very very clean except the Sunday Times was on the floor in the lounge and we hadn't hoovered the lounge and dining room for about 3 days) She said, 'oh, I did this on purpose- to really see your standards of hygiene'. To say that internally I was going ballistic would be an understatement.

She then informed us that she had been engaged by the Guardian. She said she had spent 5 hours psychometrically testing my son. Every third sentence out of her mouth was 'Well, I don't want to be judgemental....BUT....' followed by her opinion of the 'right way to do things'. She also informed us she had then given the teaching assistant and class teacher a 30 minute lecture/lesson on how to be a 'teacher'. –THIS IS IMPORTANT- SEE BELOW She then told us the following:
*our son has a 'significantly above average IQ’- which she followed up by saying, ‘which is not a surprise as Dad has been assessed as ‘slightly above average’ (actually in the high 120’s) and mother is classed as a genius’ (embarrassment- yes that is true)
*his verbal skills are that expected of a 13 year old- he is 8. She said his reading skills are of an 11 year old BUT his comprehension levels of what he reads is at about aged 10/11.
*His mathematical IQ is genius level (which my husband said- I think you will find that is true of all three of our children- because my wife is a mathematical genius)
*She said his spelling skills were of a 7 year old and she found this deplorable. She said, his being left handed is not a suitable excuse. She said that she found him to have considerably poor eye-hand co-ordination for his age. When we said, well, we have purchased special left handed pencils/pens for him, Social Services have stopped us giving them to him. Her response: ‘That is you just making excuses.’
*She said that his school performance showed he was under performing for his intelligence level ever since nursery. She claimed that a reason for academic under performance was ‘poor emotional security’. I asked her to define this and provide concrete examples- she refused.
*She also claimed my son has poor ‘deductive logic skills’ inspite of his IQ. I said, he is 8. Especially for a boy, I am just grateful that he remembers what he had for lunch!’. She did not like that.
*After 1.5 hours of her lecturing, she said she had to go as my smoking and our cats were giving her an asthma attack. I stated, well, if you had stated that when you walked into my home, we would have put the cats outside and I would not have smoked in my own home in your presence. Her response? ‘Well, I shouldn’t have had to say something- that is just evidence of your being an inconsiderate person and your behaviour to others-which you need to grow up and take responsibility for’. ????????
*Before she left, she launched a viscous attack on me in terms of my personality and character. She claimed it was based on the SS file about me. I am not normally an emotional person, but her attack cut me to the quick and I was sobbing. We tried to tell her that the SS files are not accurate and she refused to listen to us when we tried to show her documents of apology from the LA for their holding inaccurate info about both of us- me in particular- and that the Ombudsman was investigating alot of complaints against the LA. She refused to listen and stated ‘the LA are ALWAYS right’. My husband- bless him- was SO restraint. It was clear that he wanted to physically throw her out of the house but instead just said, ‘Listen! You have no idea the living hell my wife has had for the last 12 years- caused by her ex husband and me! She has handled every piece of s**t thrown at her with dignity, being a contributing member of society and raising 3 children- how dare you treat her this way.’ She was very dismissive of him ‘oh, so the concerns of the LA seem to be to the two of you unfounded-see they are right- you are difficult people.’
* On Thursday we rang the Headmaster- we already had a pre arranged telephone chat with him booked. I mentioned this child psych. He said- ‘yes – I heard about her this morning and thought I was going to have a staff revolt on my hands- she has really upset people around here. I will be contacting my legal team to see if I can make a formal complaint against her.’
*She then turned up at my parents home- again unannounced- to give my parents her 6 hours of psychometric testing. My parents and ourselves are frantically trying to get our son out of foster care and placed with my parents temporarily until the case is resolved- so they went along with it.
Every concern that ourselves, my parents, the Headmaster and even the contacts/SS have about her can be found here:
Note that this case is actually almost the opposite end of the spectrum to ours but the complaints are the same: setting herself up as judge and jury, completely up her own rear about how great she is, going outside her remit/instructions, etc.

As Easter is approaching and all solicitors are on holiday for two weeks, what can I do? She has now decided that on Monday she wishes to observe my son and I alone and then interview me again for another 2 hours straight afterwards.


Re: Child Psych-is this dodgy or not?

Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:06 pm

This seems extremely dodgy to me. Have you actually recieved any notice of this being arrange and any explanation of exactly what she is actually doing? I think not?

If this is the case it seems to me that they seem to be digging for information. You really need to refuse to do anymore until you find out what she is doing and she gives you a detailed explanation of why she is doing it in writing.

Re: Child Psych-is this dodgy or not?

Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:19 pm

I find this very disconcerting, and most significantly it simply should not happen.

First, I doubt whether this is a child psychiatrist. Child psychiatrists are unlikely to utilise a battery of tests, this is much more the methodology of a child psychologist.

Second, no interviews or tests by an expert witness in court proceedings should take place without prior agreement and appointment. To march straight into a school and a home without a prior appointment is highly unprofessional, and should prompt a formal complaint both to the court and the practitioners professional body (which I suspect in this case would be the British Psychological Society).

Further, I would advise you not to cooperate with her any further until you have been able to discuss the situation with your solicitor.

Re: Child Psych-is this dodgy or not?

Sat Mar 27, 2010 5:46 pm

My inclination is to ring asap on Monday and say 1) no she can not attend the contact and 2) I refuse to speak to her again unless my solicitor ( or at least my GP) is present.

This stinks to High Hell

Just contacted my parents. 1) she is still there today after 7 hours, 2) they were involved in a car accident with my child in the car with the main damage to the front passenger side of the car- with my father in that seat and my son in the back passenger side in the back- has anyone bothered to notify us???- of course not!!! My mother demanded that the family go to hospital for a 'check over'- this 'I have a god complex' woman said 'not needed' and told my mother she was being 'alarmist'.... and has proceeded to carry on 'interrogating' my 65 and 68 year old parents!!!! ALL DAY!!!!

My husband says as my mother is not overly worried about damage- leave the complaint until Monday and then raise hell.

Kiama- sorry if I was not clear- is a child psychologist- see the link on my original post.

We only found her CV online after she left on Wednesday night. We have seen no letter of instruction.


Re: Child Psych-is this dodgy or not?

Sat Mar 27, 2010 6:05 pm

If I was you I would Judicial Review, (Urgent Same Day) them on this as it is against your rights to insruct someone to conduct an assessment without your knowledge eand not to be informed of why they are carring out the assessments and also for her to be this rude and inconsiderate it should all have been planned and set up with everybody's (who is being assessed) knowledge this seems to be a way for them to get the grounds for court. I would be extremely wary .

Re: Child Psych-is this dodgy or not?

Sat Mar 27, 2010 6:50 pm

I guess at some point this was agreed between the Guardian and yourselves through the secret court and the psych hadn't made an appointment to date.

I dunno if you recorded all or part of the session, but if you did I suspect she was there so long even the digital voice recorder will have run out of space! We use the voice recorder on an iPhone in our office, with a 16GB capacity. Bit embarrassing when I came to make my notes after an interview and found it had run out of space before we even started! I think after your earlier posting you are just being subtle about this.

I have met someone like this woman in the past, and interviewed her; she was basically employed to tell women off-a role that used to be performed by middle-class women when social care for women and children was performed by charities. It sounds like the Guardian thought you needed a good telling off to put you back in your place. This woman is just continuing a historic tradition, seemingly briefed beforehand about what a rotter you are.

There is no evidence that she is a religious fundamentalist, which many psychologists are. If there had been a mention of 'disassociation' then bingo! You have a Satan Hunter! But not on this occasion; if she is a fundamentalist, then she hides it well - though telling women off tends to to suggest she is inclined this way. Oops doing the secret court expert thing - making judgments on little or no evidence!

There wouldn't have been an easy response for her to make I suspect if you had said 'sorry, out tonight, make an appointment in writing', together with a request for a copy of her qualifications and a copy of the remit and instructions to her.

These officials depend on people giving in easily to their demands, and I guess after the Vanessa Brookes scandal that is getting harder and harder to achieve.

The link is interesting; I'm not sure what results are expected from seven hours of crank-science testing.

Interestingly her 'cv' has a section in it that will perhaps confuse both parents and her professional peers;

Assessment of placement needs following a Care Order, including whether siblings should be placed together or separately

Eh, and at what evidence is there that siblings split-up actually benefit was such activity? I would like to see that argument, both verbally and in writing.

Re: Child Psych-is this dodgy or not?

Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:57 pm

Welcome to Episode 5457 of TC’s bizarre life.................(honestly, I can outdo Eastenders any day!)

Last night the child psychologist rang us and my parents. (Ok the fact she did it at 8pm on a Saturday night is strange enough) She informed us:
• ‘Something isn’t right here. I have observed mother and father at home and during contact with the child. I have psychometrically tested the child and the grandparents. All results find this to be a NORMAL upper middle class family’. (direct quote)
• She contacted the Guardian who now wants to deny instructing her. Conveniently, no one has seen the letter of instruction or contents. So now the child psychologist wants to say she doesn’t know who instructed her and what her remit/instructions are/were.
As per my ‘fact finding’ thread, let’s see what the LA have so far:
*Last August the family went on holiday. Unknown to them a notorious paedophile (who happened at the time to be a member of JFF!) was arrested 40miles away. The police concluded (in conjunction with Social Nazi’s) that the family holiday was a cover to sell the child to a paedo ring.
*Parents arrested at 10:30 pm- as no known adult was able to take custody of child, an EPO and ICO issued. Parents accused of child trafficking and neglect.
*After 32 hours in adjoining cells (my ex military husband says my morse code is crap) parents are released without charge.
*Parents receive grovelling apology from police for their wrongful arrest and breach of their Human Rights. Parents issue legal proceedings against police for these violations to their Family Life. (And Dad is majorly pissed that his arrest stopped him going to the Royal Observatory)
*SS refuse to return child because they claim:
a) Dad was arrested 7 years ago under Operation Ore. Dad has been assessed by Lucy Faithful Foundation and Ray Wyre Associates (at great personal expense to the family) and found to be ‘no risk to children and never was’. Mother has had assessments by same and found to be more than capable of assessing risk to children and protecting from harm. SS say, ‘well, those assessments were done 4 years ago so we want new ones.’
b) Mum is accused of liking the Chardonnay too much- particularly on a Saturday night during dinner parties and on sunny Sunday afternoons while doing the ironing watching the Eastenders omnibus. (method- iron 5shirts- one sip of wine- after 10 shirts get to have half a ***- hint-I hate ironing but is a necessary evil of this world- self motivation technique) This is turned into Mum is a raving drunk.
c) Mum and Dad are not from the local area; Mum is American and Dad is Scots. Therefore, do not conform to local culture. This could place child at risk of emotional and social harm. Mum being American is ‘too reserved and doesn’t like too many personal questions’. (Hint Sherlock: part of ‘American Identity’ is that we believe the State should not interfere with our personal lives and to probe too much is insulting and invasive and an invasion of our privacy) Child appears to have this ‘characteristic’. Therefore the SS question how much ‘emotional warmth’ there is in the family. SS also question the family ability to ‘work with professionals because the family behaviour is to distrust those in authority’. (All elements combined, gee, I don’t know why that could happen)

*Grandparents arrive from USA and rent a house to take temp custody of child while proceedings take place. Grandparents were guaranteed that child would be placed with them within 10 days. After 9 weeks, Grandfather gets phone call from Social Worker Nazi ***** and gives her a piece of his mind due to his frustration. This is translated into ‘the family distrust of authority is clearly multi and intergenerational- requires further investigation.’

I can’t believe you could make this up if you tried!

Re: Child Psych-is this dodgy or not?

Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:01 pm

Oh and parents have successfully used the complaints system about the SS to either a0 get complaints upheld or b) Ombudsman has said grounds to investigate.

As an acquaintance said, 'you would think the SS would say at this point- FFS stick the kid in a taxi and send him home- this is just too expensive and we are going to get screwed'.

Re: Child Psych-is this dodgy or not?

Sun Mar 28, 2010 1:58 pm

Thats the whole problem, no one will admit they are wrong because if they do they open up the door for many other families but at the end of the day this is what needs to happen for the system to be changed, so the system can begin to actually work and begin protecting the children who need protecting. Everything about it is rediculous because if people began holding up their hands saying they are wrong then it can begin to get sorted, but they just don't want to cope with the commotion that will come first.

Re: Child Psych-is this dodgy or not?

Sun Mar 28, 2010 2:18 pm

TC, you answered your own questions in a sense here, The Woman says she's A CHILD psychologist, then what right has she to be assessing you and OH, she can only discuss the issues surrounding your son and thats all, As she is already causing concerns the issues need addressing with the judge and request that she ceases any further assessment, you can do this now despite the holiday period, if she puts up a front tell her you will address the serious concerns with the judge.

You should not be pushed into a corner just because they might say your not being co-operative, or your working against us, from what you have written speaks volumes to me and it also show how power crazed the people really are, you can file a complaint against her to the British Psychological Society, do that before the next court hearing then the judge will have to find other alternatives.

If this woman continues on your case it will do more harm than good, the assessment will be negative as you probably already feel that.

You still have PR for your son, more so you can stand your ground and say no to her assessing you or your son.

Re: Child Psych-is this dodgy or not?

Sun Mar 28, 2010 7:18 pm

The appointment of an expert has to be agreed by ll parties and the letter of instruction has to be agreed. If an agreed expert appointment can't be decided, the Judge makes the decision. If the letter of instruction can't be agreed, the Judge writes his own letter.

Sounds like the LA want to find something to justify their involvement, without justification, the LA may not be insured against a liability claim.

Re: Child Psych-is this dodgy or not?

Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:23 pm

OMG. It sounds like fiction, but we all know it to be true.

You must have a friendly chat with the headmaster and if you can issue a joint complaint. That way, it's not personal to you.. The woman has SERIOUS issues.

She's over stepped the mark.
No instructions.

And she's sleeping with the Guardian.

Man, and they say you're screwed up. They need a butchers in the mirror.

Re: Child Psych-is this dodgy or not?

Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:58 am

They will have worked the switcheroo. She's not a real Expert Witness, but someone hired by the Guardian to "assist her" by doing psychometric tests.

The Guardian then puts in a long report quoting all the results of the tests in it, they put the psychologist in the witness box as a "witness" to give her impressions and explain her results.

This was the reason for the four day final hearing, it was all set up in advance.

A plan of attack is the funding. Several days in your part of the country will come to a fair bit in consultant's fees. Who is paying?
It is unlikely to have come from the guardian's fees or central CAFCASS funds.

It will probably have been put on you child's legal aid certificate, but that is public funds and requires the judge's approval.
If the LA paid, who approved the expenditure?

Re: Child Psych-is this dodgy or not?

Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:23 am

Oh and this gets better.....

On Saturday, the contact worker was driving with my parents and son and had an accident (not the contact workers fault in any way). Have the LA bothered to inform us? Have they hell!

According to my solicitor, the funding for this shrink (or shmuck) is split between all parties but the instructions were soley from the Guardian and no other party consulted over instructions or selection of who would do the assessment of my son. All we thought she was supposed to do was see what if any emotional harm he had suffered in foster care and what support he may need when returned home. That was all.

Re: Child Psych-is this dodgy or not?

Mon Mar 29, 2010 11:53 am

TC wrote:Oh and this gets better.....

On Saturday, the contact worker was driving with my parents and son and had an accident (not the contact workers fault in any way). Have the LA bothered to inform us? Have they hell!

According to my solicitor, the funding for this shrink (or shmuck) is split between all parties but the instructions were soley from the Guardian and no other party consulted over instructions or selection of who would do the assessment of my son. All we thought she was supposed to do was see what if any emotional harm he had suffered in foster care and what support he may need when returned home. That was all.

That is not acceptable procedure. If an expert is jointly instructed (paid) all instructing parties can contribute to and have to agree the letter of instruction. Have you got a copy of the letter of instruction? (You should have.) Your solicitor should be challenging this whole process with the court. You should also see the expert's estimate of costs (which she will have had to provide in response to the letter of instruction). Her estimate of costs will have to outline her proposed methodology (which is then costed per hour). Does this estimate of costs bear any relation to what she has done so far?
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