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Protecting Parents from False Allegations of Fabricated or Induced Illness (FII)

At Special Needs Jungle we have heard from so many families who have found themselves at the wrong end of an accusation of Fabricated or Induced Illness (FII) or child protection proceedings following a request for help or a complaint about a service. We have previously written in great detail about some of the issues surrounding child protection protocols and how a 'one size fits all approach' along with unevidenced, speculative attempts to identify 'risk characteristics' has led to disabled children and their families being directly discriminated against in safeguarding guidance.

We know that it is one of the most frightening situations that anyone can face and parents often don't know where to turn. What's more, because of the stigma attached to a child protection investigation, parents find themselves isolated at a time when they need all the support they can get.

We believe that it is vital that families are aware of the rising number of allegations being experienced throughout the SEND community, so they realise that no one should consider themselves immune and take appropriate steps to protect themselves and their children.

We are therefore delighted to be able to help our friends over at Parent and Carer Alliance advertise their webinar about child protection procedures and FII that is happening on 17th March 2021. Please note that we have updated this post to include links to the videos, which can be found at the end.

Here's a little more about it from them:

Scanning Pens
send review resources
A Practical Parents Workbook for supporting dyslexic learners

Protecting Parents from False Allegations of FII

The Parent and Carer Alliance C.I.C. works with over 1000 families whose young children or adult children have additional needs, using social media, direct messaging, online conferences, emails, and telephone calls. 

We aim to be a source of reliable, information from both national and local sources, to provide peer support, to gather the lived experiences of families about the difficulties created by Covid-19 and to use this information to lobby all relevant parties to ensure that positive changes are made so vulnerable families stay as safe as possible.

The constant changing of government advice, legal duties that support and protect families of the most vulnerable, lack of protective equipment and difficulties obtaining food and medication means that this support, advice, and a safe place to discuss fears and difficulties is needed more than before.

Distressing allegations

In 2018 Parents were sharing experiences about being accused of Fabricated or Induced Illness (FII) and that the distress caused to them and their families could have been avoided had medical services carried out the investigations and assessments required to achieve a diagnosis.

Since collating this information into a report which has been shared with local health representatives, and covered on BBC Radio 5 live investigates, BBC Points West and BBC Breakfast, we have collaborated with Professor Andy Bilson at the University of Central Lancashire to provide evidence for his work with the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health on creating improved guidelines for the investigation of possible FII.

Webinar news

We have recently been successful in obtaining National Lottery Funding for an Advice Service providing family advocacy in Gloucestershire, and to provide webinars that address the needs raised by the carers that we support.

We are therefore extremely pleased to announce that on the 17th March 2021 from 10.30am until 3pm we have arranged a National Child Protection webinar with speakers including Professor Luke Clements, Professor Andy Bilson and Mr Duncan Siret, independent social worker and author of the Fabricated Illness Report in Gloucestershire.

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Child Protection and Fabricated and Induced Illness Conference 17th March 2021

INTRODUCTION TO THE PARENT AND CARER ALLIANCE C.I.C. followed by the first presentation:

CHILD PROTECTION PROCEDURES

 Duncan Siret Independent Social Worker and Alliance Adviser, discusses what they are, how they should work, and where to get help.

To access the slides for this presentation click here

DISABILITY NEEDS ASSESSMENT POLICIES AND PARENTAL BLAME

Professor Luke Clements, Cerebra Professor of Law and Social Justice, discusses diverting families to generic ‘children in need’ (CiN) assessors, offering only short-term support responses that locate the problem in the parent and not in the special need for support that arise due to the child’s additional needs. 

To access the slides for this presentation click here

CHILD PROTECTION TRENDS

Professor Andy Bilson, Emeritus Professor of Social Work, University of Central Lancashire, presents research which shows a dramatic increase in child protection investigations leading to a situation in which one child in every 16 in England is investigated before their fifth birthday, looking at national and local trends.

To access the slides for this presentation click here

FABRICATED AND INDUCED ILLNESS

Professor Andy Bilson, Emeritus Professor of Social Work, University of Central Lancashire, discusses critical evaluation of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health guidance, and publications by Bass and Glaser, on FII. Review of health and social work policy and practice and suggestions of ways that these can change so that children’s social care can play an important role in protecting children from both fabricated illness and the harms caused by mis-identification.

To access the slides for this presentation click here

Please use these links to find out more about the Parent and Carer Alliance C.I.C.:

WebsiteEmailJOIN the AllianceAdvice ServiceFII Report

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Renata Blower
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