Rotherham has proved it again: social work just doesn't work

This profession resistant to empirical evaluation may harm as much as it helps

30 August 2014

9:00 AM

30 August 2014

9:00 AM

In 1980, June Lait and I published Can Social Work Survive?, the first critique of British social work aimed at the general public. She was a lecturer in social policy and a former social worker; I was a psychiatrist who had regular and friendly contact with social workers. But we both felt that social work had become vague and grandiose, and we compiled quite a lot of evidence to make our case. We even reported studies showing that well-intended social work interventions could be not just unhelpful but harmful. Our work was published in The Spectator, and it touched a nerve. ‘Of course social workers don’t do harm,’ one critic fumed.

This week we have seen the horrifying report of the multiple failures of social services in Rotherham, which meant that at least 1,400 children have had to suffer terrible sexual abuses at the hands of (predominately Asian) paedophile gangs. The Rotherham report suggests, as June and I suggested 34 years ago, that social workers excel at empathy but lack the ability to carry out ‘coherently planned action’. Social work with troubled teenagers is doubtless even more challenging today than it was in the 1980s, yet the report’s conclusions reveal many of the unhelpful institutional and ideological features that we identified are still with us. In one major review, we noted, 82 per cent of the statutory reports for children in foster care were overdue (in 53 per cent by more than three months). The Rotherham report by Professor Alexis Jay, a former social work inspector, also noted that ‘referral and assessment teams were responding too slowly…assessments were not completed on time’. Even when they eventually arrived, ‘Many reports failed to assess the risks to children and their families.’

It seems these were not just individual failures, occasional and regrettable exceptions in a generally efficient professional culture, but a persistent feature of a profession that emphasises doing good rather than doing it efficiently. This happens despite the fact that social workers have relatively modest case loads, especially compared with doctors.

In Rotherham, political correctness about race seems to have paralysed police and social workers. The report says that ‘-several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought racist’. This seems drearily familiar — even if race was less of an issue in the social work of the 1980s.

As worrying as the excess of political correctness in Rotherham, however, is the continuing resistance of social work to controlled, sceptical, independent studies of its effectiveness. In contrast to medicine, that resistance has long been a very prominent feature of social work in Britain (and in most other countries). Often, social workers not only resisted evaluation but blamed the messenger when the impact of social work interventions was shown to be either marginal or negative. Some claimed that social work was an art, not a science, and thus not to be judged by the normal criteria of effectiveness.

Another feature of social work that sets it apart from medicine is the way in which promotion in the profession nearly always means progressive withdrawal from doing actual social work (whatever that is) with real, messy human beings. In medicine, the most difficult and challenging patients are usually seen by the most senior and experienced doctors. If you are sufficiently ill to be in hospital, you will be treated by a very well qualified team. In contrast, if you are sufficiently disturbed to need to be in a children’s home, you will often be looked after on a daily basis by the equivalent of care assistants. Admittedly this may not matter much, because there is still little evidence that a high qualification in social work confers many advantages on the disadvantaged individuals they are meant to help.

Time and again, when a scandal such as Rotherham is revealed, we cry out, ‘How could our social services have let this happen?’ We should ask ourselves a more fundamental question: does social work actually work? The report from Rotherham suggests that social workers haven’t learned much in the last 30 years, and that the answer is still ‘not very well’.

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  • saffrin

    Scary people are the social services department, avoid at all costs.

  • Ken

    The issue is about religion, not race – specifically about the oppressive version of Islam, generated in Saudi Arabia etc and dominant amongst British Muslims. Why can’t we face up to the threat that it poses to our own culture? That said, many of its adherents fail to live up to its strigent rules. I don’t think the Koran allows child abuse. The abusers are the sort of Muslims one finds supping lager in back street pubs in Bradford..

    • Mike

      I would add culture because religion & culture is one and the same thing in Islam.

    • Rocksy

      This isn’t a ‘version’ of Islam.

  • Dr Omar Selim

    Since 2005, when I published my website http://www.socialscareuk.webs.com I kept saying Social care is NOT WORKING, Social care in UK needs a TOTAL TOP DOWN OVERHAUL- NOBODY LISTENED.
    Now, after a decade in which tens of thousands became VICTIMS of a failing care system, I hope a decent government will come in May 2015 to take my proposals seriously.

    • ferkan

      Let’s be clear here. The victims in Rotherham are victims of criminals. The are not victims of the care system. However, they have been very badly let down by the care and criminal justice system, which is supposed to protect them.

      • Mike

        A very good point, as they are indeed victims of culturally inspired sexual abuse and not isolated abuses by one person. The causes for these crimes were (a) an alien culture that fosters child abuse, (b) a bunch of professionals who having seen abuse in front of their own eyes, they chose to ignore it.

        • ferkan

          Yes, and sadly all cultures foster sexual abuse, and as we have seen from the recent news, many abusers are white and hugely privileged.

          • Mike

            True, but its seems that only one culture fosters gang rape on this order, scale and barbarity ! 1400 in Rotherham, say another 8000 in Blackburn, Rochdale, Oxford and elsewhere, that’s nearly 10,000 white girls gang raped because of their ethnicity, thats a racist inspired criminal act, isn’t it ?

            There has been one or two isolated cases of black gangs occasionally gang raping a black girl on a one off although I’ve never heard of white gangs doing this in Britain. But only one culture has the systematic organization and depravity to racially target vulnerable underage girls in this manner for repeated gang rapes.

          • ferkan

            If what you say is correct and I assume it is, then this is not really cultural (which would indicate that what has transpired was commonly accepted as ok within a specific culture), but quite specific to a group of men who chose this path – which as you say, appears to be a racist (and/or opportunity based) criminal act.

            However, I’m not really qualified to comment, as I don’t know the details.

          • Mike

            The report did say that many people within that cultural community were fully aware of what was going on just as social services, the police and the CPS were, and with the scale of abuses, it would be difficult to keep it quiet anyway.

            That being the case, the community obviously accepted what was going on as it kept the abusers busy and away from their own girls. There are many examples of ‘criminal’ activities that have happened in several countries and over the past 100 years.The community will often times turn the other way as it doesn’t affect them directly. Germany, Jews and death camps is a perfect example of this brushing aside of barbaric crimes.

            In this instance, we have to look at these communities as a mini Islamic state within a Christian state. Theres plenty of evidence to see this in action, just visit Tower Hamlets, Bradford and I’m sure Rotherham to see a tightly knit Islamic community, practicing their own culture and never integrating into mainstream culture. What is ‘acceptable’ in say Pakistan, is to them, acceptable in their enclave in Rotherham and other ethnically dense areas like this one. Sharia law has even empowered them to continue this approach.

          • ferkan

            Yes, fair points. Although as an atheist, I take some exception to the claim that the UK in really a Christian state!

            It’s interesting however, that given the actions of the said Muslims affected so many non-muslims, that the non-Muslims did not act? What prevented these ‘Christians’ from looking after their own daughters?

          • Mike

            I’m an atheist too however the UK state is based on Christianity but in a very loose way unlike Islamic states where religion, culture and state are one and the same thing.

            As I said in my previous post, if the actions of a minority within the majority do not affect the majority, then the majority has a nasty habit of looking the other way. In the context here, the majority I am referring to is the majority of Muslims in their closely knit community. They were not unduly affected by the abusive actions of their own minority elements and just like most Germans in WWII, they ignored it.

            All majorities groups, whether a country or a community will generally look elswhere than confront the actions of those in their midst if those actions don’t affect them and in this instance, there certainly hasn’t been any reporting of their young girls being raped.

            The establishment is completely culpable of similar traits when they have ignored cultural practices that many times go on in this particular ethnic group that are barbaric, inhumane and most times criminal. But just as happened in Rotherham, the police, CPS & social services rarely got involved with cases of FMG, enforced marriages of 12 year olds or similar illegal practices. Its perverse that someone like Gary Glitter can be put on the sex offenders list for committing a crime in Vietnam but parents of 12 year old Asians never get their collar felt for forced marriages. Just like the majority of people within this ethnic minority looked the other way, so did our protectors of young girls.

          • carpetburn

            The people in whose communities that this has happened have been beaten years ago, their too weak and fragmented to fight back. The pakistanis actively target the daughters of the weakest families in these communities, the ones with little extended family and friends to support them rather than
            people with extended family networks and criminal friends. In this way they know they have the upper hand and can quickly organise people to fight and the whites have learnt this along time ago. And Paedo rape is sadly just another problem to add to the list of unemployment, little money, substance abuse etc.

          • Hazelnut


            Regardless of how many people go to church in Britain, the UK is a constitutionally Christian state. Parliament derives its power, fundamentally, from the Sovereign and the Sovereign is anointed as such under God under the terms of the Christian faith — that is what the Coronation ritual is all about.

            Everyone in Britain could convert to Pastafarianism, and Britain would still be a Christian country.

          • ferkan

            ‘The Sovereign is anointed as such under God.’

            Great for fans of fairy tales. *sigh*

            George Orwell would be proud.

          • carpetburn

            The black and white criminal counterparts of these perpetrators are no doubt dealing drugs and sleeping with multiple partners. However very few will be sleeping with under-age girls. They still have the moral fortitude to know that being a nonce is inherently wrong and will most
            likely see them attain an outcast status within their peer group. The white paedophiles that are caught being nonces are usually loners, social outcasts and look the part of the nonce. And when they are organised into groups it’s a big collection of these socially outcast nonces. They are the outliers rather than the mainstream of the white

            This is in stark comparison to these pakistani nonces.
            They are dressed in fashionable inner city hip hop sports attire and arein every way the mainstream of their societies rather than outliers and are the drug dealing gangster counterparts of their white and black contemporaries in the inner cities. So to an extent this behaviour appears to have been normalised rather than marginalised in this
            community, which is one of the most disturbing aspects of this phenomenon.

            The increased rate of immigration from the
            sub-continent was also undoubtedly a factor in the explosion of this phenomenon across England from 2000 onwards. Large numbers of single men who need to screw are a ripe market for these gangs who previously
            would only pass these girls around there own peer group.

  • Tokyo Nambu

    The problem is that social work is of staggeringly low intellectual calibre. It’s a closed world: a set of agreed nostrums with fashionable names, delivered by second rate lecturers to third rate students, mostly with “access qualifications” who are so happy to be at university that they leave their critical faculties at home. The entry requirements are staggeringly low, and the range of alternative qualifications screams “desperate for applicants”. See, for example, here. They are convinced to accept for children conditions they would never tolerate for their own (“good enough parenting”, where “good enough” means “might just get acquitted in an abuse trial”).

    If you read the Victoria Climbie report, you’d have found an office where the senior practitioner was a religious obsessive who talk about either God or her “experience as a black woman” rather than doing any management. The front-line staff were pathetic inadequates, who should never have been placed in the unsupported role they were. Similarly the Peter Connolley case: the social workers accepted conditions of utter squalor, for fear of imposing middle-class values like “not leaving dog shit on the floor”.

    • Huy ha

      Having just completed an m.a. In social work, with a degree in psychology and a postgrad in management, I am disgusted by these ill-informed comments. social work has been ripped apart by this government, clinic social work no longer exists and the funding of child protection services and the care system is what creates the risk. People don’t go into such a hated profession lightheartedly, and the idea that social work is not empirically based is refuted by the fact that myself and my colleagues have spent months writing 20,000 word dissertations on the topic, albeit from a non-positivism approach, but that in itself has it flaws!

      • hitchslap11

        Lucky for your future charges that your abilities are apparently beyond reproach and don’t require any oversight.

      • Mike

        Then how else do you explain what happened at Rotherham, Rochdale, Oxford & Blackburn plus the many other failures we’ve seen in the past 10 years where political correctness trumps child abuse !

        • pfgpowell

          Superficially, you have a point. The trouble is that it is the failures which attract attention, but good work done by social work will obviously not be reported and so the vast majority of us are completely unaware of it.

          As we say ‘Boy Scout does good deed’ has never sold a single issue of a paper. ‘Social workers f**k yet again’ sees the issues flying of the counter to all the know-alls chorusing ‘I knew, I knew it, they are WORSE than useless!’

          A test as whether social workers are useful would be to have a year without them. But that, quite obviously, is not possible. And I suspect NOT having social workers and the job they perform would see an awful increase in misery.

          It would be fascinating if each and every f**k up by a hack were somehow flagged up, say by cheering. I suspect the cheering would never cease. Best that hacks stick to what they are good at: pontificating.

          • Tokyo Nambu

            “A test as whether social workers are useful would be to have a year without them. But that, quite obviously, is not possible.”

            Consider Rotherham.

            On the one hand, 1400 children, at a minimum, raped.

            On the other hand, two children fostered by people who are UKIP supporters.

            Which would you say was deserving of attention by social workers?

            Which got attention from social workers?

            Hence my point about “fashionable nostrums”. It’s obviously much more important to protect children from political ideas from a right of centre mainstream party than it is to prevent them from being gang-raped, and that is what Rotherham’s social workers focussed on. The guy who responded to my original posting shows the intellectual vacuity of the field by writing that “[s]ocial work has been deliberately ripped apart by this neo-liberal government, laying the groundwork for privitisation” Neo-liberal means nothing, and he’s so knowledgeable about privatisation he can only spell it phonetically.

          • Mike

            Spot on the money !

          • Huy ha

            Hey why not go a year without the police and see if that makes a difference, after all it was they who failed to take the reporting of crimes seriously..

            I agree with you that the political correctness in this case failed to see beyond what needed to be done to protect this children, also agree that the ukip issue was ridiculous

          • Roger Hudson

            Maria Colwell died 40 years ago, perhaps the solution still hasn’t been found. Perhaps it’s a new paradigm needed.

          • qertyiou

            Well the police in Rotherham did more harm than good. You fools are dangerous.

          • Nic Walmsley

            fair call, about them binging their own political bias to the job.

            but, if we treated failed families as a source of future income drain that deserves proper attention up front, paid smart people well to perform well, maybe we’d save overall?

          • Mike

            A f**k up by a hack does not result in the continued abuse of a vulnerable young girl and additionally, when a f**k up by a hack is made, they know immediately they have f****d up and usually learn from it.

            In all these instances in many towns across the country, the SS were told what was going on but ignored it. They didn’t learn from one f**k up or even 1400 f**k ups, that’s the real issue.

          • pfgpowell

            Exactly. If someone died every time a hack f**ked up, there would be an outrage and burials 24/7. But as you say hacks f**king up don’t result in rapes etc. But that doesn’t stop hacks ranting on in moral outrage as though they had just invented the wheel.

          • Mike

            Accepted, the hacks are part of the problem and probably the editors or owners of newspapers as well. They’ll whore themselves to the establishment just to gain access to politicians and dilute or spin the truth their pimps in politics don’t want to hear.

            They have ignored this gang rape by men of one specific culture for too long and the worst offenders are the likes of so called liberal progressives like YAB or Townbee. Of course theres nothing liberal about gang rape and if they believe its progressive to encompass cultural practices inspired from Islam then we’re all in for some serious trouble.

          • Jackthesmilingblack

            We’re talking here of the systemic gang rape of minors, trafficking, pimping facilitated by threats of extreme violence. At least 1,400 underage girls over a period of sixteen years The sheer scale beggars belief. No way can this be whitewashed. Literally thousands in Rotherham and beyond should be looking at slammer time.

        • Huy ha

          I’m not denying there are issues with strategic decision makers being more interested in protecting their jobs than helping people, but don’t blame the people that specifically go into the profession to support vulnerable people, who are constrained by budgets and caseloads beyond anyone’s capacity

          • global city

            not strategic decision makers, just any old social worker going to the press would have done.

          • Borstal Boy

            You reallythink the press didn’t know about this? If they did they are culpable if they didn’t then then are even worse because they should have. Social Workers are hamstrung and have extremely limited powers to get to the root of what was going on, just give it a rest with the “all it needed was” stuff.

          • qertyiou

            Remember the old “Home Help” system. That worked because people wanted to do it, and they were paid very little indeed. You people are paid too much and it clouds your judgement.

      • global city

        You an smell a stooge a mile off…. you’re no bloody social worker!

        • post_x_it

          Even scarier to think that he actually might be.

          • global city

            Extremely pertinent point!

        • Jackthesmilingblack

          “Having just completed an m.a. in social work”
          MA ??

      • davidofkent

        I see from your comment that you are exactly the type of person that I refer to in my post above. You are clearly over-educated.

        • Jackthesmilingblack

          In UK trash culture, anyone that can spell is over educated.

          • George Smiley

            You are just a Japanese Troll who uses Spellcheck, yet struggle to string up a proper, coherent sentence that is actually standard English half of the time! Using the past tense (was) for Nick Griffin even when the bloke is still alive, for one thing! Good back to school!

          • Jackthesmilingblack


      • Lydia Robinson

        Undoubtedly, your MA had a Marxist theme to it. Cultural Marxists have been the direct cause of the breakdown of the family in our society. I’m beginning to think this was a deliberate ploy so you and your ilk would have work for hundreds of years dealing with the social fall out – i.e. white “slags” preyed upon by Muslim groomers.

      • Hazelnut


        A perfect tell. You’d never make a good poker player.

      • Roger Hudson

        Your language (psycho-newspeak) shows a facet of the problem.
        Run a large foster family instead of ‘managing’ the problem.

      • Bonnie Clyde
      • vieuxceps2

        “a non-positivistic approach”- ,”objectively quantify human relationships” etc. Can you not see that the very words you use show the deadness of your profession? where’s the blood of daily life? where’s the warmth for others? Your 20,000 word dissertations will be of little help to a girl being gang-raped in Rotherham.
        I sense that you mean well,you and your colleagues, but come out of the sterile lefty tick-box and get among those who need you.

      • MikeF

        In plain English what is a ‘non-positivistic approach’?

        • post_x_it

          It’s something that goes up in the puff of smoke at the slightest attempt to translate it into plain English, along with “neo-liberalism” and “objective quantification”.

        • PaulMurrayCbr

          Positivism (very broadly speaking) is the idea that the real world actually matters.


      • Jacqui Lynch

        You are assuming that academic ability translates to the reality of going into a child’s life, fully aware that you are to decide if what is happening today, is sufficient evidence to require the complete upheaval of the life of said ‘small adult’ which will affect them badly, forever…the trouble with child welfare services worldwide is, they rarely offer the child (soon to be a disturbed adult), BETTER, just DIFFERENT…

      • qertyiou

        You should read Feynman; he would take you to pieces. Be honest you only do it because that’s all you can do. Also NHS and UK management has also been dicredited. You people are delusional.

    • hitchslap11

      I’ve read a little of the report. What I have read angers and sadden me in equal measure.

    • Lydia Robinson

      Well I have an anecdote about the human rights lawyer scum who hang around the mentally ill and are paid by the state to try and get seriously ill people out of hospital before they are ready to leave. In one particular case, a sectioned patient wanted to change his name by deed poll to “Mr Claptrap” because that was how he viewed himself. The “Human Rights” lawyer facilitated this change and as a result, he can’t get a bank account as no bank will take seriously someone with such a name. Vulnerable people are being preyed upon by this scum.

    • siouxsienusude

      You are extremely ignorant and ill informed, for your information an access course is very condensed and the diploma is equivalent to three a levels. You have no evidence to back your argument and just vent your unwelcome opinions.

      • Garry Clarkson

        Three A levels. That’s remarkable. Well done. How many children have you brought up (on your own)?

        • siouxsienusude

          why do you make an assumption that I even have children and that I am on my own?

    • Nic Walmsley

      I agree the sector is a mess. But no.

      The qualifications of the candidates has much more to do with the pay rates of the roles, than the nature of the role.

      And the pay rate of the roles, to do with the imbalance we place on paper-pushers in a bank (for example), compared to some poor sod trying to stop an abused child from turing into an abusing parent.

      Fixing people has got to be the hardest known job in the world.

      Fixing their bodies is hard enough, but fixing the social aspects of their consciousness. C’mon – it takes genius to do that!

      The point on the original post (the article) is that if we held the sector to a higher standard, and invested in it, we might save ourselves a lot more than we spent.

  • ferkan

    Why was the headline not:

    Rotherham has proved it again: the police just don’t work

    Why the particular bias against social workers?

    And where are your alternative suggestions. If you wanted to be constructive, theres a lot of disgruntled social workers who’d like to help reform the system. People who’d rather be doing actual work than paperwork. Even some who’d like to do some research.

    • Rocksy

      Because the police do quite often actually bring a case to a reasonably satisfactory conclusion. Social workers never do. I have worked for many years with families of teenage children and without exception, when social workers are brought in, everything gets worse and the situation goes off the rails.

      • ferkan

        And did they in this case? The one which is being directly referred to?

        In what profession have you worked Rocksy?

        • Rocksy

          I said that the police ‘quite often’ bring a case to a reasonably satisfactory conclusion, not that they do so every time.
          I was a teacher but turned my attention to helping families help themselves without interference from social agencies.

          • ferkan

            Ok, but this case is the particular case being used to attack social work everywhere. I have worked closely with social workers in the past as a psychologist, and freely admit my frustration at the system, and sometimes at individuals. On the other hand, on many occasions, I have worked with diligent, hard working social workers who have protected and supported people.

            I have met useless psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and teachers. It does not follow that they are all useless. You’ll never ever hear about the successes in the news.

            It’s also much easier for the police to bring cases to a close. In the end the police either prosecute or don’t. The person is then either guilty or innocent. Dealing long term with families is much more open ended and messy.

          • Rocksy

            I founded an organization for parents which they operate completely. The organization provides skills and support for parents and they decide what they want to achieve and they help one another to accomplish it.
            I have done a great deal of speaking through all media and to colleges etc. where students prepare to enter the world of social work. I’ve been invited to address government sponsored conferences. etc. etc.
            But my greatest satisfaction is in witnessing what parents have achieved when given some skills and support from their peers. And no it is never long term or messy. In fact change in family life begins very quickly. Because there is no judgement, parents can be open about their difficulties and are much more willing to accept help from other parents who have had the same experiences.
            Two principals guide the work of the group. No professional may run the group although they can participate as a parent needing help and no problem or issue is blamed on mental conditions. In fact the idea of ‘disorders’ such as ADD, ADHD, ODD, etc. are set aside and are not allowed to play a part in the work of the group.

          • Rocksy

            You’re quite correct in your assessment of teachers, psychiatrists etc. I agree completely. Read my posts above.

          • ferkan

            Sounds excellent and rather closer to the kind of psychological group work we might provide.

            Can you provide a name for your organisation or are you trying to stay anonymous?

          • ferkan

            I’m interested in how you help people now?

      • global city

        This is absolutely spot on. The worst aspect to the whole social welfare system is that the mega £bns spent on social services are a waste of time……when anything goes wrong with ‘the most vulnerable in society’ they are basically on their own…. or pressed into a Kafkaesque world of extreme Cultural Marxist tropes.

      • Mike

        Sorry, thats a cop out in more ways than one. The job of the police and the CPS is to investigate where crimes have occurred or are reported and bring charges if they believe a crime has been committed. Its very clear from Professor Jays report that the police were informed about likely criminal acts but failed to investigate because of political correctness.

        Quite often doesn’t cut it especially in gang rape of underage vulnerable girls. They are quick enough to investigate alleged hate crimes by white people but in an obvious racially motivated crime as this is, in most cases, they did nothing.

        • Rocksy

          I wasn’t holding the police up as a sterling example. I was comparing their results with those of social services. Neither is outstanding, but the police do produce results at least some of the time. No it isn’t good enough and perhaps a better way to compare them is to say if we had no police at all would life be better or worse. I believe it would be much worse. If we had no social services, I believe it would be better.

          • Mike

            It could be argued that having no police would be a good thing for these reasons.

            Firstly, police in the UK have no allegiance to the local community as they are efffectively controlled at national level even though they are funded in most cases out of local council tax. In many other countries like America, France or Spain, because they have national & local police, the local police are integrated into the local community, accountable at local level and usually the local police chief is elected. Thats democracy at work.

            Secondly, with money saved home ownwers if we had no local police, we could hire our own security people with a single mandate to protect homes. As it is in the UK now, all the police do for the most part is sign a theft report for insurance purposes and thats it. If a home owners does protect his proptery from armed burglars, they get arrested and on some occasions are charged with using too much force and the roles of criminal and victim are reversed.

            Thirdly, national police forces are always used in political ways by distorting the laws of the land. All citizens should be treated equally by the law by as we have seen here in Rotherham and elsewhere, one ethnic groups get preferential treatment and and are ‘let off’. Not officially of course but by knowingly ignoring a crime has been committed or believing it to have been committed and doing nothing is a free get out of jail card.

            Expanding out from this, the ‘corrupt cherry picking’ in the way investigations into phone hacking, celeb & political pedophiles (Saville and Cyril Smith), Hillsborough, the bias against EDL whilst letting those fascists in UAF create trouble at a lawful protest, these are all examples of the inherent political corruption of our police forces.

            Policing evolved a couple of centuries ago when private armed forces protected those who could afford it and that was subject to corruption. As a result it was clear you needed a common set of laws that were applied universally without favour. For the most part as far as ordinary people were concerened, that was achieved many years ago. Now though, it is political interference and political correctness that has corrupted our police forces. Perhaps we should have a choice, go back to funding our own local police force who at least would be elected and have allegiance to that community.

            As for social services, I’m not sure it should be closed down as something or someone needs to look out for child abuse. The solution is to fix the PC cancer thats in all our public bodies including the SS and make individuals accountable in law for actions or inaction that result in these sorts of barbaric criminal acts. If they had to pay compensation for failures of the sort seen in Rotherham, that would focus their minds to do a proper job or leave the profession.

          • Rocksy

            I am reminded of the Portuguese police during the McCann disaster, the Italian police and various other police agencies in Europe. The term ‘Keystone Cops’ comes to mind.

  • ferkan

    Colin Brewer. How come you don’t apply the same logic to hospitals? Pick one scandalous, disgusting and horrifying hospital scandal, and generalise it to all hospitals in the UK?

    You may have some very good points, but you undermine them with your delivery.

    “If you are sufficiently ill to be in hospital, you will be treated by a very well qualified team”

    This may apply sometimes, but I can promise you it’s not a given in psychiatric care (as you should perhaps know). Why? Well it has a lot to do with funding priorities. Could the same be said of social work.

  • Rocksy

    The undeniable truth is that any organization be it business, education, or health which is socialized (funded by the taxpayer) is always going to be dysfunctional. It’s why socialism doesn’t work. There is no vested interest or motivation to be efficient.

    • Huy ha

      I agree that competition can sometimes be healthy, but are you suggesting building profits out of people’s vulnerabilities ?

      • Rocksy

        Health and welfare vulnerabilities are not so different from the need for food and shelter which are also vulnerabilities which require attention. We have no problem making a profit from providing these.
        Competing to serve peoples welfare needs in a satisfactory way is not so different from providing the other services people need. Competition to provide these means that the best price, the best service and the best outcome are more likely.
        The State is a poor manager and we don’t need it to protect us from poor service. When we are given choices between competing service providers we are quite capable of distinguishing between what works and what doesn’t.

    • DizzleToTheFrizzle

      Have you been on a train recently? Privitisation doesn’t get results either. Maybe money isn’t the problem? There are other reasons to be motivated other than money you know?

      Maybe the labour model of out sourcing to charities might be an improvement (as they tried with the ‘supporting people’ program) but that had plenty of issues of its own.

      Whatever the way forward the people working within the system cannot be allowed to tiptoe and pussyfoot around abuse like this. Our country has got an awful habit of turning a blind eye to child abuse, and that has to stop.

      • Mike

        Most privatizations are not true market force ones with competition as many turned out to be nothing more than government funding a ‘spun off public body’ or a private cartel without genuine competition. Unless there is ‘enforced’ competition through serious regulation, privatization doesn’t work and we have many examples that show this.

        The trains are government funded private affairs, rail track had to be brought back to public ownership, the energy companies are a cartel, banking is now a cartel, in fact the only privatization I can think of that is a real market force industry with real competition is probably communications. BT and the plethora of ISP providers that do offer some semblance of competition is the only one where the customer hasn’t been screwed royally.

        The public doesn’t save any money from these privatizations and we would be no worse off under state control for most of them and we wouldn’t need an army of ombudsman to arbitrate their failings, scams and rip offs.

        The banks that failed should have been bought for a penny by the state and run as national banks. Once bought, savers could have recovered their savings and the crooks that caused the problems like Fred the Shred would have left penniless as should have been the case. Then we could have forced competition on those that barely escaped going under and are now scamming us.

      • vieuxceps2

        “Our country” didn’t turn a blind eye to child abuse.That was done by Council ,police and social workers in northern towns because Pakistanis were responsble and Political Correctness decrees that ethnic minorities need protection.
        Now we wait to see if the law of England is stronger than lefty policies so that the cowardly commissars may be prosecuted and punished.I fear we’re in for a long wait,don’t you?

  • Bonkim

    Social workers turned criminals need to be booked for allowing such things to happen..

  • Tom M

    Quite so. The whole point, as far as government is concerned is tha

  • global city

    The ‘social sciences’ is surely the greatest cruelly that the mental Left has afflicted the poor with.

    Every department of academe needs to be purged of left wing ideologues and ‘iconoclasts’ who drive such harmful drivel.

    Social sciences and ‘international studies’ are the core humanities subjects that should be closed or radically decommiefied.

    • Lydia Robinson

      They are too talentless to do anything else. If they weren’t in something like that, they’d be dole scum.

      • siouxsienusude

        you are the scum, ignorant and very stupid.

  • David Mortimer

    The child
    protection system in the UK is the responsibility of the government of each of
    the UK’s four nations: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Each
    government is responsible for passing legislation, publishing guidance and
    establishing policy frameworks.

    From: Unmonitored.ACCOUNT@education.gsi.gov.uk
    Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2014 3:09 PM
    To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
    Subject: Department for Education response: Case Reference

    Dear Mr

    Thank you for
    your further email, addressed to the Safeguarding and Vulnerable People Unit,
    about specific legislation or regulations which require local authorities to
    collect and hold information on child abuse perpetrators. On this occasion, I
    have been asked to reply.

    I am afraid I can
    only reiterate my previous reply of 14 July. This stated that it is not for this
    department to comment on whether local authorities hold information regarding
    child abuse perpetrators or for them to use that information to formulate
    evidence based child protection policies. It is the role of the police,
    Disclosure and Barring Service and the criminal justice system to hold this

    Once again, thank
    you for writing.

    correspondence has been allocated reference number 2014/0054542. If you need to
    respond to us, please visit: http://www.education.gov.uk/contactus and quote your reference

    As part of
    our commitment to improving the service we provide to our customers, we are
    interested in hearing your views and would welcome your comments via our website


    Ministerial and Public
    Communications Division

    —–Original Message—–
    From: public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
    Sent: Friday, August 01, 2014 12:56 PM
    To: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
    Subject: Re: Inquiry into child sexual abuse in the

    Mr David

    Reference :



    Thank you for
    your e-mail of 29/07/2014 1:48:54 PM.

    The matters you
    have raised are the responsibility of Department for

    We have therefore
    transferred your e-mail to Department for Education, who
    will arrange for a
    reply to be sent to you.


    —–Original Message—–
    From: david@mortimers-removals.co.uk
    Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 1:48 PM
    To: public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk
    Subject: Re: Inquiry into child sexual abuse in the

    Dear Safeguarding
    and Vulnerable People Unit,

    Please will you
    kindly confirm that you are aware there is no specific legislation or
    regulations which require local authorities to collect & hold information on
    child abuse perpetrators or for them to use that information to formulate
    evidence based child protection policies.




  • davidofkent

    The Parole system does not work. The Social Services system does not work. The Justice system does not work. My conclusion is that all these social science systems do not work. The reason, IMHO, is that the people who work in them are in the main rather soft lefties who are able to find excuses for every mistake they make.

    • vieuxceps2

      Perhaps we should also consider the number of ethnic minority people employed in these state-run departments for it has often seemed to me that such people are employed to meet targets rather than because of their competence or experience.Has anyone any figure for social work, CPS,justice offices,welfare in general? I suspect these ailing bodies are over-stocked with immigrants and their kin.

    • global city

      But they only work within a doctrinal architecture that has been created by ‘great minds’ who have come up with ideas that will further the development of society….. from some sort of Marxian perspective, of course. Without governments and agencies fully subscribing to these theories then they would never see the light of day.

      Any investigation of the issue MUST start with a look at the ideological base and doctrinal assumptions that underpin the whole narrative and delivery of the welfare state and social services.

  • BigCheddar

    Colin, sanity amongst the madness. Thank you foe an excellent piece.

  • Joe Long

    It’s a bit optimistic to expect social workers to be able to cope with the horrific abuse inflicted by Pakistani gangsters and its fall-out with the best will in the world

    This is a fast growing cancer, you can’t deal with it by sticking on an elastoplast

    “Once the Mirpuri/ Pakistani community in Britain started to politically organise its leaders found the UK highly fertile ground for the introduction of political practices imported from their homeland.”


    It is obvious that the Labour Party, councils and police have been systematically corrupted,

    “The case of Jessica was one of those Rotherham Child Sex Abuse cases reported by Andrew Norfolk in the Times. Jessica claims that when she was abducted from a Children’s Services foster home her abductor and sexual abuser was allowed to go free, un-prosecuted. She further alleged that his freedom resulted from a deal done by former Councillor Jahangir Akhtar to secure a non-prosecution deal in return for her release.”


    Akhtar was a Labour Councillor and Deputy Leader. The alleged abductor and sexual abuser was his cousin according to the Sun newspaper – they accused him of committing 18 rapes.

    So how come the Deputy Leader of the Council was able to negotiate such a deal with Plod. What does that say?

    How come fathers who tried to save their daughters from the Pakistani rapists were arrested? How come this happened?

    “After neighbours heard screaming, a 13-year-old girl was found at 3am in a house with a large group of men who had given her vodka. Police arrested the child for being drunk and disorderly but did not question the men”

    Read more at http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=867_1348499044#UeQb9kuMFHCp1cvk.99

    South Yorks Plods instigated the grotesque fishing expedition against Cliff Richard, a week or so before this damning report emerged, what does that say?

    There has been a systematic cover up operation


    The dots maybe can’t be joined yet but they must include

    Pakistani Biraderi clan networks and the taxi firm/takeaway/restaurant nexus, drug money; rape, trafficking and pimping of girls, corrupt politicians bought with bloc postal votes and/or money, corrupt plods and council apparatchiks – and indeed a good sprinkling of political correctness.

    There is evil abroad, the sky has grown very dark over England – looking at our rancid political class it’s hard to be optimistic.

    • Mike

      I agree that we can’t blame social workers for being unable to deal with crimes like systematic gang rape from a protected bunch of sick Islamofacists satisfying their primeval needs but perhaps they should have been a bit more vocal. If the plod and CPS were the problem as seems most likely then they should have gone public a long time ago.

      • Joe Long

        Trouble with that is that the media weren’t touching grooming with a couple of honourable exceptions until Norfolk’s report of Jan 2011 and then the 3rd Rochdale trial of May 2012.

        Even Norfolk sees fit to have the obligatory odd dig at the “far right” during his commentary – apparently it was all Griffin’s fault for raising it in the first place, that’s why it was taboo – even though they wouldn’t toucjh it with a barge-pole around 2004. I suppose he feels he has to do that to keep his NUJ card, and he’s about the best the MSM has to offer.

        Whistleblowing is career death as well

        You might get liquidated by Joyce Thacker


      • Borstal Boy

        These men are no more representative of Islam than IS murderers, these men are lying and deceitful to everyone, their wives, their families, their communities, their Imam and themselves. They often live two opposing lives, one forpublic consumption and the other a dark and dirty perverted life away from scutiny. And whilst we are on it not all of those involved are Pakistani or Muslim, all creeds all colours all faiths, just look at the Westminster scandal, not a Muslim to be seen, all white men in positions of power and who felt untouchable.Let’s have some balance!

        • WTF

          The point is this sort of mass perversion seems to come from ‘men in positions of power’ no matter what their background. There is a very clear similarity between those establishments figures who ran underage sex rings and those Pakistani men, they both believed they were untouchable by the forces of law and it took many years before the truth came out.

          As for motivations, both were sickos but the white offenders had it in their genes whilst the Pakistani men had their religion to justify it, in their eyes.

    • Lydia Robinson

      Who let them in? Well perhaps with the lucrative channel of prostitution and pimping that’s dried up, they might clear off.

      • Joe Long

        Sadly it’s going to take a lot more than that

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      You mighty want to add the instance of a father who tried to rescue his underage daughter from the house where she was being gang raped, only to be arrested by East Yorkshite police.

      • George Smiley

        Except of course “East Yorkshire Police” does not actually exist! Stop making stories up or copy-and-paste fourth-grade hearsay if you claim to have been living in Japan since the year 1972! You are in fact making a mockery of genuine, bona fide abuse victims with your false stories coming straight out of the BNP and David Icke! You are ultimately a Japanese and never British, so you wouldn’t really understand what REAL British people talk about anyway! And wasn’t it the same YOU who keep on spamming websites with stock slogans like “white women, who needs um” and “white chicks”, I wonder?! Yes, it was, you shameless (Japanese) hypocrite! Now, jog off, and watch some of your own kind with very little clothes on, eh?!

    • post_x_it

      The Chief Executive of Barnardos is also a Pakistani Muslim.

  • Lydia Robinson

    There’s one surreal aspect of this that has been overlooked by commentators – the local cab firm had the contract for the halfway houses where the girls lived. When they went AWOL, they were sometimes returned to the home by the same firm. So the abusers who were mostly cab drivers, were being paid with taxpayers’ money to abuse the girls. it gets worse and worse the more you read about it.

    • Jerome Leroy

      I fully agree,

      Those cab drivers should arraigned for prosecution just the like the Police officers, politicians and the public services, whom systematically failed to protect under aged Children from constant rape for a 16 year period (victims stated that Pakistani Origin Muslim British males systematically raped them over a period of 16 years, without protection or prosecution)

    • post_x_it

      A CRB check is completely worthless in an environment where crimes against children are not prosecuted. Unless the person actually has a conviction, the check will come back clean. It’s no indication of the person’s character or behaviour.

  • MikeF

    Obviously the social work system failed in Rotherham. So did the police. The proper workings of both were debased to the point of being negated – even completely inverted – by the environment they had to work in. But don’t blame some nebulous ‘political correctness’ – as if the cause of that environment was just some confused but well-meaning thinking elsewhere.
    The cause was far more specific and deliberate. It was the political system in the town that created a power structure based on an alliance between a neo-Marxist left and ethnically defined interest groups that combined to control the town through one particular organisation – the Labour Party, which in turn appropriated for itself the machinery of local government – and which justified itself through the sectarian ideology of ‘anti-racism’. As now seems evident when faced with clear evidence of the consequnces of its actions that organisational system deliberately set out to destroy that evidence.
    What happened in Rotherham was not an accident – it was the foreseeable and in the end visible consequence of deliberate policy. The people responsible for this are the councillors and senior council officers who chose to ignore and even try to suppress the evidence of what was happening as a matter of political ideology and self-interest. They were knowingly complicit in criminal activity and should suffer the consequences.

    • revkevblue

      Very well put.

  • Cymrugel

    So the solution to this outrage is to scrap social work departments?

    That’s’ the big idea?

    Is your solution to the crisis in the NHS to close all the hospitals?

    Leaving the private ones for those who can pay obviously.

  • Roger Hudson

    I first saw the social work problem in 1973 when I knew Brighton social workers involved in the Maria Colwell killing. Social work was changing from a maternalistic family centered view to a ‘socialist’ statist model. Social workers who could spout Freud and Marcuse but couldn’t boil an egg. Once femo-homo-race diversity and form filling arse-covering was added to the mix the situation became toxic.
    Many very humane people were put off social work and it became the province of managers with almost cultish agendas. Generations of children have been let down who have in turn perpetuated the problems.
    Yes, at least 40 years of social deterioration.

  • Noa

    No, the real problem is not the navel gazing of academics musing on the failure of social services and workers.
    It’s the as yet unpunished criminality of 10,000 muslim child rapists.

  • Bonnie Clyde

    This social worker came straight out of college and abused his very first “clients”. Are they all trained to do this? Do see: http://grandmabarbara.wordpress.com/york-council-corruption/mark-bednarski/

  • Bonnie Clyde
  • Bonnie Clyde

    And this is what Lord Maginnis said about York social Services in Parliament:

    “The Hofschroer case has been on my desk for several years now. A widow
    in her 80s was dispossessed of her home in a way that implies collusion
    between certain family members and the Social Services.”


    “Does anyone in authority care that social services and police in North
    Yorkshire have conspired in the persecution of Mrs Hofschroer and her
    son? Are details of dismissals, forced retirements and other shady and
    costly measures pertaining to North Yorkshire Police available to
    legislators in Parliament? “


  • wallhousewart

    Social work is nothing more than busy body intervention by the state. You don’t need a degree in the social sciences to determine somebody needs housing or benefits. Any trained seal can do that. Nor do you need a degree in social work to investigate fraud or crime. Child abuse is a crime. This is a degree thought up by progressives and those with a social sciences degree ensure that only others with the same degree get hired.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    So who are you going to blame? The police? Absolutely. Social Services? Without question. Rotherham Council? For sure. Labour ministers? Now you’re on the money. But most of all the MSM who claim they were only obeying orders, but in fact were spineless scribes disseminating a corrupt government agenda.
    But bottom line, you’re all culpable at some level, albeit passively. With the possible exception of BNP and EDL activists, everyone resident in England over the previous 20 something years is to some degree guilty of turning away from an obvious, but unpalatable truth. You saw it happening, but you didn’t want to know. Swallowed that multicultural, community cohesion BS line which let third world Muslim immigrant savages literally get away with murder. Anyone with an grain of cross-cultural awareness could have seen it coming. Amazing in a country that is literally paedophile crazy, ready to railroad ageing celebrities on the flimsiest of circumstantial evidence for alleged offences committed decades ago . And even if guilty as charged, we’re hardly talking violent gang rape, trafficking and pimping.
    Even here in Japan, I’ve seen young Muslin tourists (men obviously) going ape$hit over what would be absolutely normal in the West. Literally drooling at the sight of mini-skirted Japanese girls on the train. Their backward, perverted culture and religion turns them into instant sexual predators. And these are the ones that could afford to travel to Japan. Imagine what those back home are like.
    Jack, Japan Alps

  • Terry Field

    This article would have an equivalent in pathology.
    The pathologist, on confronting a cadaver that is riddled with cardiovascular disease, cancers and neurological degeneration, announces
    ‘ The real problem here is that nasty ingrowing toenail ‘
    WHilst social work is tedious, staffed often by the politically correct and the bigoted – vis the attitude to multi-race adoption before this government banged the idiot’s heads together and changed the ‘rules’
    The REAL issues here, which exist with – one fears – the same resultant horrors – in so many towns in Britain, are simple to express but rip through the absurd politically correct landscape.
    They are:
    1 The preferred status of Islamic life in Britian and its protection from scrutin and just chastisement when meritied.
    2 The dreadful teachings of the Koran vis ‘kufar’ being less than pigs, (the raped white girls were and are thus utterly de-humanised as were the unter-races for the SS) and the rest of the foul race/culture based justification for any abuse to the rest of mankind.
    3 The New Labour promotion of an insane ghettoised cultural structure.
    4 The promotion of and ‘celebration’ of ‘difference’. A sin against nature and rationality.
    5 The existence of corrupt handmaidens to the political elite.
    These include social worker departments, certainly the now utterly discredited police ( who act as the enforcers of corruption as so extensively reported)
    6 A frightened, cowed, unfree comments culture, where for so long people feared confronting these obscene power-centres. This latter is crumbling, not before time.
    7 A compliant state controlled broadcasting media. The national propaganda organ, the BBC – a rabid Guardianesque supporter of the lies of the NewLabour weltanschauung is a potent promoter of the ‘acceptable view’.
    8 A politicised Civil Service – particularly present in such organs of control and manipulation as the Home Office and assorted ‘quangos’. This latter are still awaiting the return of the ‘Prince across the Water’ in the form of New OldGodKnowsWhat Labour, and clearly hamstring this government at every turn.

    THESE are the causes of the problem – the poison injected is the Islamic horror of dehumanised ‘kufar’ – the rest actively promote its potency and reach.

    We must be mad – literally mad – to allow this to go on.

    Now who was it who used such very similar language?……………………………….

  • Fenman

    They do not learn for 3 reasons;
    1. The intellectually shallow politically correct views many hold
    2. The poor level of ability of many social workers.
    3. They are almost never punished for mistakes and negligence. In the public sector. accountability has been divorced from responsibility.
    The solutions are obvious but difficult;
    1. Much more stringent training and recruitment.
    2. Eradication of political correctness.
    3. Strict professional discipline.
    But the political will to carry out such measures does not exist, as we see when even a Tory Home SEC only blathers and has not commissioned a much needed criminal investigation into Rotherham Council and South Yorks police, by an independent police force.(not another useless inquiry).

    • NJH

      Wouldn’t we be better off without them altogether?

      • Fenman

        True. Then just re-empower the police to actually behave as policemen. No chance.

  • cromwell

    No the real scandal is that real children were really raped by Pakistani Muslims and nothing was done for 16 years for political reasons, that is the real scandal and also the fact that my post will be deleted for daring to spell out the truth of it.

  • cromwell

    I remember as an Officer in the British merchant navy sailing with Arab crews. When we hit port it was notable how they invariably hired rent boys rather than female prostitutes.

  • minnesoter

    No. The “real” scandal is that this horror has been going on for many years now in *England* of all places. The lives of thousands of English children, principally girls, destroyed! And it is still going on, by all accounts. It’s enough to shake one’s faith in humanity.

  • GlobalAm

    Social work is a generalized failure because it psychologizes (fake word) the problems these girls face prior to their abuse, justifies their negative behavior and then tries to ameliorate it/ downplay the negative impact. The answer is not a religious revival, but a spiritual revival within our secular selves. The moral code of the previous era is gone, but replacing it with psychobabble and political correctness has been a failure.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    The Daily Mail (I take it for the gardening page) reports that the police announced that they plan to raid literally thousands of homes all over the country to arrest immigrant (Muslim) child rapists. My first thought was, “Why is Plod giving these sexual deviants the heads up?” But then the penny dropped; that was the cunning plan. At present deportation is a legal and political can of worms, so put the frighteners on these paedopakis and encourage them into voluntary deportation. And no compensation payments; win-win or what!
    Jack, Japan Alps

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Britain, the child rape capital of the world. Now that’s a reputation that’s going to take a bit of living down. So suck it up, Britisher pals,

  • mandelson

    The important thing is that we hear that “lessons have been learned” so that we can all carry on as before.

  • pobinr

    Social Science degrees are for those that couldn’t cope with Physics, Maths Chemistry, music etc.
    They are the dregs & their constant failings show it. They are moslty feeble people

    • Nic Walmsley

      And maths is for people who don’t have the emotional intelligence to work with their species?

      (your glib simplicity is not helping)

  • Fenman

    Notice the DT is disgracefully giving more preference to the poor boy who is in Spain than to 1400 rapes in Rotherham.

  • jesseventura2

    How many people think this kind of abuse is not happening in Newport, Cardiff,Glasgow, Edinburgh, Birmingham,Coventry or anywhere else there are filthy Pakistani take aways?

  • gerronwithit

    If you would like to consider the root cause of many of the ills besetting the UK for probably the last hundred years then I would suggest that tertiary education might be a good place to start. For almost all subjects outside engineering, medicine, maths, physics and chemistry there has been a strong Socialist, if not Marxist content running through it that demands obeisance to achieve a good degree and total belief if you want to succeed in the academic field.

  • EnochP

    Yes, lets talk about everything but the biggest elephant in the universe….how it is impossible for any social service, no matter where, to handle the mass-invasion of psychopaths and pedophiles. Please read this psychology rapport:


    and if you still need more background info. on pedophilia than check out this new documentary:

    “Pakistan’s hidden shame” by filmmaker Jamie Doran:

    Eye opening CNN interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sUysQnUCnyI

  • revkevblue

    Why do you insist on calling them Asians, that covers a multiple of nationalities, they were Pakistan’s, and referring to these gangs as Asians does the other nationalities a great disservice.
    It was because of this kind of political cowardliness that allowed these Pakistani gangs to flourish for so long. and you are still doing it.
    Grow some.

  • PaulMurrayCbr

    The elephant in the room being the sex of the majority of people working in the sector.

    Hey – someone had to point it out.

  • Borstal Boy

    Well, all of that unsubstantiated twaddle from a man struck off and not allowed to practice in the UK? Physician heal thyself!

  • Lucinda Titchmarsh

    empathy? social workers have no empathy, and certainly had none in this, they blamed the victims and labelled them ‘prostitutes’
    I expect many, should never have been removed from their families, and doing so probably placed them at greater risk