Profiling alienation: risks and responsibilities

I have just picked up a comment from a reader about pathology and alienation. This reader asks whether I have written about this in previous articles to which the answer is yes, I have. Rather than go back through the archives, which I admit are now looking somewhat daunting to trawl back through, (given that I have written over 170 posts in the years I have been writing this blog), I thought I would write a quick response today about pathological patterns that we see in cases where children reject a parent and comment on the use of therapy as a cure all for the problem.

Patterns of pathology are somewhat startling in cases of alienation. This is something we are looking closer at in our work at the Clinic as we begin a project which is focused upon developing profiling approaches to alienation, abduction and the risk of a parent harming a child after separation. Profiling is a complex process, which involves comparisons of behaviours in a large sample of cases. In doing this work we are partnering with leading researchers in the field of profiling, more of which as we get further into this project. The outcome of this work will be a fully tested and researched model for assessing risk in cases where children either reject or are removed from a parent after separation, something which is not currently available in this country.

This work, which is sorely needed in the field, also aims to establish a bench mark for assessing those case which are suitable for therapeutic treatment and those which are not. This will offer parents affected by the problem of alienation the protection that they need from the idea that therapy and therapists per se, can treat the problem.  Having been in this field for a very long time now, I am aware of the different ways that therapists approach alienation. From denial of it to fervent claims that it is always the fault of both parents, therapists all over the place seem to have their own interpretation of what is happening when a child rejects a parent. For those parents who are affected by the problem, encountering the alienation unaware therapist is an absolute nightmare and one which can cause untold damage, not only to the parent but to the child too.  Establishing evidence based protocols, based upon the large number of cases we have worked on in the last five years, is our contribution to developing a safeguarding approach for families that protects them from wasting time and money on treatment routes that do not work.

At the Family Separation Clinic we use a combination of protocols developed by leading researchers across the world to begin profiling an alienation case.  The following is an example of one of our stages of assessment.

Is a case suitable for therapy?

Only cases which satisfy the criteria in bold in this chart are accepted as being possibly suitable for therapy. However, each of the different categories below also contain three further assessments through which a case is processed.  Only at the end of eight assessment stages can we safely offer an opinion on what the most suitable treatment route is.

                                                     Suitable 

Rejected parent is non responsive to intervention & assistance. Blame projection is present and fixed.

Rejected parent reacts negatively to child’s reactions on transition bridge or other negative factors come in to play.

Rejected parent shows understanding of own role in the child’s rejection and is able to change behaviours and demonstrate patience. Can withdraw blame projecting behaviours

Child is reacting on the transition bridge or has recently withdrawn from a regular relationship with a parent (within approximately 12-24 months)

Aligned parent is able to understand the need to change behaviours and/or is constrained and compelled to take part in therapeutic work.

Aligned parent is non responsive to intervention and assistance. Blame projection remains high and fixated. Lack of external compulsion for change is present

Child is enmeshed with the alienating parent.

Blame projection is high and fixed.

Parent continues to play out unconscious patterns.

Profiling alienation also allows for indentification of serious risk and there are serious risks involved in alienation cases.  For example, some cases of pure alienation, in which the alienating parent has a personality disorder, create urgent child protection situations, in which the risk to the child is clear and present.  In these cases, some of which may involve risk of physical as well as emotional and psychological harm to a child, triaging risk is an urgent task.  Developing profiling tools which can be used by Social Workers and CAFCASS as well as the Police to identify such risk is one of our major aims of this project.Arriving at this stage in our assessment allows us to determine whether a case can be accepted into a therapeutic treatment route.  Prior to this stage the case is put through five different assessments in order to categorise it.  Each section in this stage is then further differentiated through three different assessments to offer a clear view of what the treatment route should be.  Cases which are deemed not suitable for therapy are not offered therapy. Instead a clear opinion on what is necessary to liberate the child is offered with evidenced reasoning to underpin this.

Pathology and alienation go hand in hand in our experience and where one is confronted with a case of a child’s absolute refusal to see a parent which is combined with an absence of negative contributing factors from the rejected parent, further investigation is imperative.  These are not the cases for the unaware professional and they are not the cases for the idly interested clinician either. These cases are serious and they demand deeper attention and in depth research, which is what we are involved in at the Clinic.

As we move into our new phase of development we will be keeping you updated with everything that we are doing. We will begin with our move across to our new site which we are being supported to develop by one of our readers ( the selflessness of people affected by this problem never cease to amaze me) and the publication of our book which we have been working hard to finish.  Alongside research projects and international collaborations (more on that soon too), 2015 is looking set to become our biggest year yet in raising awareness of parental alienation and developing treatment routes for parents affected by it.  I am grateful for all of the offers of support that come our way and for all our readers interest and encouragement, together we are building the roads to recovery that all families affected by this problem deserve.

31 Comments

    1. Thank you anonymous, this already feels like a momentous year and I think it is only going to get more momentous as we snowball our way along. K

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  1. OMG 🙂
    Someone else out there really “gets it”. Deeply.
    What hope would there be for parents who have children with such attractive and charismatic deceitful monsters, if not for yourself and a very short list of others.

    Inexpressible appreciation Karen.

    n

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  2. Supporting external article: http://www.childrenwebmag.com/articles/child-care-social-issues/the-tactics-and-ploys-of-psychopath-aggressors-in-the-family-law-system

    http://www.thedivorcemagazine.co.uk/tips-co-parenting-sociopath/ – “… They blame others and are prime candidates for committing parental alienation…..”

    Perhaps if we all shared Karen’s posts to 5 others, word would get around more quickly and even percolate through the cotton wool worn on certain people’s heads? 😉

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  3. Dear Karen
    I welcome this post. As you know I’ve talked to you about the work that Craig Childress is doing (in the USA) on identifying pathologic parenting patterns and signs, from a strongly researched basis. As a layperson affected by PA behaviours, his work on simplifying some of the concepts and language, supported by clearly referenced research, has been invaluable.
    You say “Developing profiling tools which can be used by Social Workers and CAFCASS as well as the Police to identify such risk is one of our major aims of this project.”

    I am aware that CAFCASS have one such ‘tool’ called the ‘Impact of Parental Conflict Tool’. Their guidance states the 10 indicators “should be used in identifying and analysing emotionally harmful impact of parental conflict on the child”. Their own guidance tells practitioners “You should complete this tool after you have conducted your interviews with the parents and the child (if appropriate). It will help you to identify, and clarify, any emotionally harmful influence of one or both parents on the child. Your findings can then be referenced in your report in the relevant section(s).”
    CAFCASS also state “Competent use of tools is covered by the manager quality assurance check of every report that is filed to court.”

    One other relevant tool is the CAFCASS generated ‘My Skills Knowledge Bite’ entitled “Understanding the Impact of Parental Alienation”. Written by CAFCASS’s librarian and referencing 8 fully researched academic reviews/articles/publications.

    All CAFCASS Family Court Advisors, including those acting as Guardians, have to comply with the Health Care Professional Council (HCPC) Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics. Page 3 of the HCPC Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics states the following duties for registrants:
    ◦5 You must keep your professional knowledge and skills up to date.

    CAFCASS also states that it has ‘standards for continuing professional development’ and standards of proficiency’ which it’s FCA’s (as registrants) must meet.

    However, CAFCASS have confirmed (in a Freedom of Information request) that in relation to the question ‘how does CAFCASS formally constitute, define and document “up to date” in relation to FCA’s required professional knowledge and skills?’ Cafcass confirmed it “does not hold further data defining this term”.

    So if CAFCASS doesn’t define ‘up to date’ how do it ensure a CAFCASS practitioner’s knowledge, skills and understanding is ‘up to date’.

    Additionally, CAFCASS was asked what does it mean by the “expected standard” as referenced in its own Employee Relations policy, Section 4 – Performance Capability, 4.1?
    The policy in section 4.1 states “Maintaining acceptable and effective standards of performance amongst all staff is crucial in ensuring that a high quality of service is provided to children and families at all times….Where performance is perceived to drop below the expected standard this will normally be raised informally with the employee concerned by the relevant manager at the earliest opportunity, with a view to identifying the reasons for this and putting supportive remedial measures in place as swiftly as possible.”
    In response CAFCASS answered “The policy in section 4.1 refers to ‘acceptable and effective standards of performance’ as the expected standard, and further expectations are set out in that policy.” Having looked, there is no further definition of what constitutes either an ‘acceptable’, or even ‘effective’ standard.
    Again, if CAFCASS don’t define, how can they measure? To say ‘the standard is the standard’ is as much nonsense as them saying “Our aim is to keep the family alive even if they can no longer be together.”

    Karen, if (on some occasions at least as I’m sure there some good practitioners out there somewhere, just not involved with the case I know about), CAFCASS already fails to use it’s own in-house developed and disseminated ‘tools’, and also fails to monitor the use (let alone competent use) of these tools, and fails to check whether practitioner’s have the necessary skills, knowledge and understanding for any given case, then how in the world how will any future tool be realistically, comprehensively and intelligently adopted?

    I am so glad you do this work Karen. I’m sorry if this sounds un-supportive because it really isn’t – I hope you know me enough to know how much I value your work. Thank god for all your howling in the dark.

    The more I read and understand the more I think the only thing that will change how PA, or implacable hostility, or pathogenic parenting is viewed by CAFCASS and the Judiciary is after we have a private case brought by a child, who successfully sues (as a adult probably) for damages caused by incompetency on the part of the system.

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    1. quick reply CG to your question’ how will any future tool be realistically, comprehensivly and intelligently adopted? Well, at the moment it is a hand to hand combat situation, educating where we can and however we can. However, the purpose of the research is to provide the strong evidence base necessary to step up the fight on all levels. At the moment whether PA is accepted or not by CAFCASS appears to be on an individual officer basis, and the knowledge bite is hardly helpful in those circumstances – which leads me to wonder whether individual officers could be challenged on their HCPC membership … but that is perhaps for you to look at further. The interesting part of our research for me is that we may well start with the Police in terms of education and work backwards from there, at the moment we are just building the project itself and selecting cases for comparison. Nothing changes without taking the bricks down and replacing them with something else, I think we are a while away from widespread acceptance and a long way perhaps from CAFCASS universally understanding the need for tools like this or training that goes with it, but doors are ajar and so it is up to us to push them. Too late for too many children, far far far too late and yes, I think that when those children become old enough to understand they will be going into courts to ask why they were not helped….I have been in this field for 22 years, I see the movement of children to adults and I see the emergence from alienation and the recognition of children that they were not helped, there will be, in my view, a generation or three of children who will hold those practitioners who have failed them to account. I work with some of these adult children now, it won’t be too long before we see the reverberations from the ignorance and unwillingness to listen.

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    2. As an alienated father who has spent many years researching PA and trying to raise awareness of its dreadful consequences among the general public, I too have come across a reluctance/resistance from CAFCASS, Social Services and their associated referee bodies to accept PA as a real phenomenon and subsequently change their modus operandi. I have to agree that perhaps the only way we can get definitive change is after a private case has been brought by a child, successfully suing (as an adult probably) for damages caused by incompetency on the part of the system, but importantly supported by ‘whistle-blowers’ who have worked within these organisations.

      This is an idea I have been pursuing and making some headway, but it is early days.

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      1. Its interesting to know that in the past 5 years there have been 15 cases brought by private individuals against CAFCASS that have gone to Court.
        13 are described as ‘Dismissed/Struck Out ‘ with N/A against ‘what amount settled as damages’
        1 is ‘Dismissed’
        1 (in 2014 in the Leicester Court system) is ‘Settled’ with the comment re ‘damages’ that “It is impossible to define the sum paid in damages to the claimant as the claim was settled by the payment of a global sum including costs”.

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  4. and Craig Childress’s work is very much influencing what we are doing along with Amy Baker, Bala and Fidler and Brian Ludmer with whom I will be collaborating shortly. K

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  5. Thanks Karen
    the more I read the more I see the various strands which just aren’t picked up across the board.

    For instance, within the ‘knowledge bite’ is a reference to Kirk Weir’s work on ‘High conflict contact disputes: evidence of the extreme unreliability of some children’s ascertainable wishes and feelings. Weir, K. (2011). Family Court Review, 49, 788-790.’ He talks of the successful restoration of relationships when contact (often just one time) is enforced against ‘expressed’ wishes and feelings.

    And floating around in the system is the judgement by Lady Justice Parker in H (Children) [2014] EWCA Civ 733 that ‘… the word used in the Children Act about wishes and feelings is “ascertainable” and not “expressed”. “Ascertainable” often means that the Court has to look at actions rather than words.’ She makes the point that if she’d followed expressed views she have ordered ‘no contact’ but having ‘enforced’ contact she notes “The ascertainable wishes and feelings of these boys have been demonstrated by the evidence that they are more than happy to be with their father.”

    And still, personally, we are suffering the effects of a Guardian saying that the expressed wishes and feelings of the child must be paramount, even though the ‘justifications’ are insignificant.

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    1. Yes I completely agree CG. What worries me is the differing levels of expertise in CAFCASS offices and officers and their varying levels of understanding of what alienation looks like and the persistent and pernicious belief that all cases are he said/she said cases when they emphatically are not. We hope to start by offering the Police a profile of alienation cases with risk of physical harm and abduction and move on from there. It is a slow process but we want to be able to put in place something which is the foundation for strong systems and practices around the problem of alienation, something which prevents the field from being skewed by the meddlings of amataurs but which makes the treatment routes we know are needed much much more accessible to ordinary families. It is tragic that there are so few approaches to treatment in this country and such high levels of resistance too. We keep on and you are helping us to do just that for which we are very grateful.

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      1. whilst researching something today I found the following in the Cafcass Operating Framework http://www.cafcass.gov.uk/media/212819/cafcass_operating_framework.pdf

        BRIAN CANTWELL: TYPOLOGY OF PARENTS IN CONFLICT
         Temporarily dysfunctional – history of good parenting; collaboration; some awareness of impact of conflict on children; some willingness to accept help
         Significantly conflicted – quite volatile; history if poor communication; genuinely wish resolution but find it difficult to achieve; need tight clear contracts/written agreements
         Stuck in conflict – unconscious interest in keeping the conflict going; great difficulty in putting children’s needs first; usually needs firm court and social work control

        To me this was an example of the bluntness of the approach undertaken by (some, I’m sure not all) FCAs.

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  6. Hi Karen, your blog on profiling was very interesting but I feel if I spent a few hours with someone I would have a reasonable understanding, I have to also say I am a people person and care about others. Why then does Social Workers continually fail to grasp the nettle, have the wrong attitude and are unwilling to be open minded. Perhaps they to should be profiled?

    I am in touch with other groups who are dismayed that the establishment in Scotland are just burying there head in the sand. Pas to them is a four letter word, therefore I am back using words like manipulated and brainwashed.

    I am working with a view to having a seminar in October 2017 in Edinburgh, and I want to make sure people sit up and take notice. I have a meeting with the Scottish Office in three weeks as I want the Health Minister to open the seminar, in order to obtain the maximum coverage. Not one thing on its own will convince the masses, I want to hear what other involved people in PAS are doing to fight the good fight.

    I would like to hear from people how we could aim for a national positive Parenting week or something similar. Not enough is being done and I do not want Children, Parents and Grandparents to suffer the way my Family have suffered. There is nothing worse than being honest and decent and yet due to a manipulative individual no one believes you when you tell the truth. I am currently now involved in three litigation actions do to simple stupidity and shear incompetence by certain organisations. Please do not sit and take it, everything has a cost and none more so than the mental anguish on the rest of the Family. Please do not get angry as I sometimes do, get better than even.

    As a Father and a Grandfather I strongly feel there is nothing more precious than a Child, I have had that bond with my Grandchild illegally stolen from me. My Family are not rich and it is expensive to go through long protracted legal battles for years, but at long last we are going to win as we have now managed to put together a good team. Please remember that we have good plumbers and good joiners as well as bad plumbers and joiners. In that same vein we have good and bad Solicitos and Consultants. If you have not put a team of good people around you, it will be extremely difficult to have contact with the Children you love and miss.

    I do believe the time has come to tell the MP’s and MSP’s THAT THERE IS NOW A MASSIVE CRISIS. WITH REGARD TO CHILDREN SUFFERING CRUELTY THROUGH MENTAL ABUSE, SO PLEASE WRITE TO YOUR APPROPRIATE POLITICIAN.

    ISSUES :

    1 Inuficient Professionals are not trained in how to identify a Parent who is the Alienator.

    2 The vast majority in Child Protection are reluctant to admit the truth as regards PAS.

    3 Progress through the Courts is to slow favouring the recipient of fees.

    4 The average Family cannot afford to finance the Fees for Solicitors and specialist Consultants.

    5 Parental conflict around Child custody cases is a massive drain on both Social Justice and the NHS budgets, therefore prevention is better than cure.

    6 Local Authorities have no budget to increase Staffing levels. If there is anything Social Work Departments require is more resources and better Management Support. The word “morale” I guarantee does not even exist never mind being talked about in all Social Work Departments.

    I kid you not the nievity amoungst some Social Workers is totally unbelievable and they could do with six months training in life with the School Diner Ladies. The standard of minute taking and report writing is so poor that the Children could do better. Social Work Departments do not appreciate how important accuracy is required in minutes and reports as the documents are often used in a proof. The last thing any Parent wants is lies to be included in a report, the Child may well be shown documents that are erroneous in years to come and may be lead to believe that they were let down by an innocent Parent.

    7 Court Reporters/Safeguarders all require to be retrained in identification where PA exists. I am sorry to say that the Children’s Reporter that we had the misfortune to talk to was on another Planet, that was a waste of time. Like many of you good Parents that is out there hurting, my family hurts with you. My grandchild a case can only be explained as a catalogue of extreme of unrelenting and enormous proportions of errors.

    8 All I have stated is true and from my bleeding and broken heart, nevertheless my Family have fought tooth and nail against the most stubborn people one is likely to come across. Please do not look for sympathy from anyone as so many People involved in Child protection are bias to the extreme and gender issues clouds people’s vision.

    FINALLY

    I am a proud man and have been a volunteer all my life and I have worked in Local Goverment for many a year. The buzz word in Local Goverment is mind your back. So when things take a turn for the worst the war cry goes up, “it wisnae me.” Therefore, sadly staff lie to protect themselves it happens in every avenue of industry.

    Everything that could go wrong in our case went wrong, so many Solicitors were employed by us and endless days at Court where people did not turn up including Solicitors.

    I have no choice as you have no choice, go and fight for that Child as I assure you they are worth it and if not the consequences are unthinkable. Be strong, be a collective Family going for ward and support and love one another.

    I leave you with this sound bit of advice I received from one of Scotland’s best Q. C. I WAS GIVEN THESE EXACT WORDS, “FIGHT, KEEP FIGHTING AND NEVER EVER GIVE UP FIGHTING.

    GOOD LUCK TO YOU ALL, GOD BLESS OUR CHILDREN.

    Karen you know who granddad is, by the way Karen is the best at what she does and is a good kindly Lady. Thank you Karen.

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    1. Hi Alan.

      Regrettably as an alienated father I too share your experiences with respect to CAFCASS and social services. When they first got involved I was optimistic that they would help resolve my situation, but to my dismay, I ended up totally flabbergasted at their sheer incompetence and apparent bias and how they have let my daughter down so very badly. Tragically I now have not seen my 20 year old daughter to socialise with in over ten years, and since I was blackmailed into giving up my Parental Rights 5 years ago so my daughter could be adopted by her new stepfather, maintaining any sort of contact has been made virtually impossible. CAFCASS and social services only served to compound the problem.

      The Parental Alienation process in my case started when my wife and I split up when my daughter was aged 2, and was finally complete when my daughter was adopted by her stepfather at the age of 15. Those last couple of years were the darkest of my life but I am pleased to say that although I still have scars, I have come out the the other side.

      During that darkest period, I had little understanding of Parental Alienation and it was a real revelation when I stumbled across the subject, going right back to the works of Gardner et al. I vowed ever since then that I would not rest in raising its ugly profile among the general population.

      Things I have done since include:

      1. Writing/publishing a book about my experiences (Can’t Explain : Available on Amazon), with the help of internationally renowned experts such as Prof. Ludwig Lowenstein, with a view to helping others. (Interestingly, my experiences sound very similar to yours, and also many many other readers, that have read the book).

      2. Presented at small conferences (typically ~12 people present).

      3. Been interviewed on Local Radio.

      4. Contacted various independent TV Production Companies, with a view to other a documentary, play or drama focusing on the subject.

      5. Prepared a website http://www.cantexplain.co.uk

      Other things I am currently working on include:

      6. Making good use of the Internationally recognised Parental Alienation Awareness Day (25th April).

      7. As you have already suggested, I have contacted my local MP and am at this moment awaiting a response.

      I am not sure exactly how I could help you with respect to your proposed ‘Positive Parenting Week’ or your 2017 seminar, but if you feel I can , please get in touch. I am not a doctor or psychologist, just as an ordinary man who found himself powerless as others systematically destroyed the loving relationship I (and the rest of my family) used to share with my daughter.

      Although it is s sad that many others are suffering similar plights, I do find it encouraging that more and more people are now starting to speak about PA and the injustices that have taken place. The more we all work together on fighting this evil, the better. I wonder if it would be worth having a face to face meeting for all those that would like to develop some sort of action plan?

      Best of luck to you too, and all others fighting for their children

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      1. Luke, I have just checked the link and it seems to be down, do you want to repost? I wonder also if you might like to write a piece for our new site about your experience? We have your book on our book list for the site but it would be great to have you write a piece for us so that people can hear directly from you. We are building the site now so now is a good time to start gathering materials, I will email you the spec for contributions. I know I owe you a call, apologies for not doing so, my days are overwhelmingly full in working with families but if we can collaborate around this piece of work we can promote your work, we are working with Thomas Moore too and a couple of other people who are raising awareness of the issues. K

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      2. Luke, I would like to take up your offer to have a chat and see what we could come up with.

        I ask families and individuals who are caught up under this evil spell, what in your opinion is the main factors of Child Brainwashing not been accepted by not just the establishment but also the Medical and Justice Professions?

        Here is my feelings that we have to crack the following. You notice I said Child Brainwashing as opposed to PA or PAS. I THINK THERE IS A RELUCTANCE TO BRING MORE HIGHLY PAID CONSULTANTS INTO THE MIX. The reason for this is due to the Americans have made it a multi million dollar industry.

        The hatred spread so venomously by Woman’s Aid, yes there are many bad and vile Males but there are many good Males, Fathers and Grandfathers. (I am one but at times my Son and Imare made to feel like a criminal.) WA have not as an organisation but by cooperation of individual groups advise Mothers to raise the same old chestnuts. The Male raped the Mother and abused the Child, this is totally unactable. I have spoken to many young Fathers who like my Son have had such dirt thrown at them. Another tactic of WA is if they feel that their client is in danger of loosing in Court that they organise that the Child through stealth is removed into another County. My Son does not know where his Daughter lives and not seen her for four years.

        Unfortunately, a lot of well meaning Woman who may well have been abused or have been subject to violence get involved with WA and eventually their vision is clouded emotionly which is understandable. All this does is the Mother who is manipulating the Child by what ever means is being supported to inflict cruel Mental abuse on the Child. In my Families case Social Work in two Counties have wrongly supported my Son’s estranged wife to the detriment of my Grandaughter.

        Every agency and organisation requires complete reorganisation and educated in PA, their are also so many Professionals that will never change believe you me. I know that as I worked in Local Goverment.

        It has been plain to me that Social Workers are in need of more resources and boosted morale probably they require better Management support and guideance. It saddens me to say this but there is a complete mistrust with the public and SW, given my experience I can well understand. I am sure by better resources the standard of service to be fare would be very much lifted.

        One thing for sure look there is a long hard not just a battle to be won, this is a war.
        One organisation that has been brilliant for my Son is Families need Fathers, there is a but coming. But are too diplomatic and do not bite back. There are many good people trying to do the same as us, some even get paid,it is all too soft and it will take many years to make progress. Like anything that goes on around a general election gets coverage if you shout loud enough but unfortunately the boat has just about sailed and we will have to wait a further five years.

        I and my Family are an open book and have nothing to hide, we certainly do not want other Children and Family members to suffer the pain we have experienced somI will keep fighting for my lovely wee Granddaughter and for other Children.

        Please contact me Luke, my email is: alan.l.hay@hotmail.co.uk

        Kind regards, Alan

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      3. Hi Alan.

        Thanks for your response. I will e-mail you directly in the next 2 to 3 days.

        Best Regards,

        Luke

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  7. I think working with the police backwards is a logical move forward. Here’s why:

    A friend of mine recently spent a night in a cell as a result of the one sided system in process at the moment. He was initially requested to attend the station to be questioned informally about non violent harrassment of his wife.

    D made a large number of calls to their home and her mobile to try and organise to see the children – the majority of which went unanswered. D’s wife (an ex social worker) had decided that the best way to make him do as she wanted was to remove clear access of their two small children. D went from caring for his children in the house whilst she worked to nothing unless she agreed over a period of a month.

    On arrival at the station D was charged and bailed to return in over two weeks with no access to wife, children, his own house, and no clear opportunity for any choice, the children (7 & 4) could skype him IF they asked, and the couple could text ONLY to arrange contact. The officer appeared helpful but explained she had to find out and discuss forward plans before any decisions could be made.

    That review date came and went with a short meeting explaining that the information had not been obtained so conditions needed to stay as they were. D managed to get notice to his father in law who was prepared to drop off the children at suitable places for meetings. At least twice the wife text to say she had no fuel and he had no choice but to drop the children home….. One of the days it was snowing.

    Yes, on the next review date she had reported to the police that he had broken bail conditions and he was locked up overnight and put before a judge who had the sense to decide that there will NOT be a custodial sentence but there is likely to be a suspended sentence. Bail conditions remain the same, she can contact him all she likes because “she’s not the one on bail”, he MUST not respond. At no time was the chance for him to have a “go-between” of his own.

    My poor friend is having to sign in at the local station every night (like a curfewed criminal) because he holds a european passport and the prosecution felt he was a flight risk. This poor man has no family in England except his “wife” and two little children. He probably will go back to his family if he is offered no opportunity to have proper contact with the children. He has refused to accept letters, texts via father in law or fiends in order that the same does not occur.

    So, if the police can be educated that it is not always as it seems and the family lawyers should perhaps be involved organising contact immediately this situation would not occur.

    I have already told D of this site as I think it will be no time at all before his children are alienated from him. If she is prepared to go this far and get a working man who adores his children arrested for wanting to see them something needs to be done.

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    1. In the words of Kevin Keegan, “I would love, i would absolutely love” to educate the Police and Cafcass. As long as i had immunity from arrest though….because oh how i would sink my teeth into some of them for what they have done and been part of, what they swept under the carpet and how they went about making things much worse….and with apparent joy and satisfaction and with absolutely no empathy, compassion or honesty. Just another dad to destroy…..then go home and put their feet up and look forward to a pension like the plods from Orgreave and Hillsborough did…..paid for by the blood and suffering of others, ensuring their overtime…and guaranteeing their new yearly budget. In bob dylans words…”the riot squad need somewhere to go” desolation row.

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      1. Thank you for your direct reply. Most upsetting thing is that when you are threatened with the loss of contact between you and your children you will do almost anything to protect it so fighting does not feel like an option. D remains fearful for his future contact, particularly if he goes home to get the psychological support he needs. Will the children’s mum tell them he wasn’t interested??? 😦

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  8. Just to reference how poorly Cafcass is supported by expertise. Roughly eighteen months ago I reached a juncture at Court:- to explore possible P.A. and revisit wishes and feelings of our child. I raised the issue with the childs Gaurdian that the logical order of the two issues was firstly P.A followed by wishes and feelings. With overt P.A being present, a child’s ‘wishes and feelings’ do become an irelevance.

    The Guardian refused, prefering wishes and feelings to be tackled first. So I requested confirmation via the Guardian for a Cafcass child expert to confirm the Guardians approach (to the best of my knowledge a child expert would never concur).This after all was the pivotal issue for the childrens welfare.

    The Guardian stated this was impossible as no child expert (psychologist or psychiatrist) was employed within the whole of Cafcass. Wow!

    What invariably followed was -wishes and feelings, and P.A? Simply kicked into the long grass and never explored during all my time in Court.

    How can an organisation charged with responsibility for children’s welfare be without the tools and expertise to carry this out?

    Institutional negligence will eventually face an organisation taking it’s responsibilities so lightly. Another Rotherham? Yes for sure- subsuming children’s welfare for political expediency.

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    1. Hi anonymous.

      Regrettably your story appears a very common one when dealing with organisations such as CAFCASS and social services, who in a number of cases only serve to compound the problems we as alienated parents are having in trying to combat PA issues. There are a number of us that feel we (and ultimately our children) have been treated so appallingly, and arguably cruelly by these organisations, that we want to collaborate our efforts in such a way that the poor and potentially dangerous practices currently being employed will be exposed and systems will change. Exactly how we go about this is still up for discussion, but we believe in strength in numbers. Would you (or any others that read this) care to join us?

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  9. Just to reference how poorly Cafcass is supported by expertise. Roughly eighteen months ago I reached a juncture at Court:- to explore possible P.A. and revisit wishes and feelings of our son. On pointing out to the Guardian that the natural order was P.A first followed by wishes and feelings. After all a child’s ‘wishes and feelings’ are not their own when P.A. is overt. Instead the question of P.A. being present gives weight (or not) to the child’s wishes and feelings.

    The Guardian refused, prefering the order to be reversed. So I requested confirmation via the Guardian for a Cafcass child expert to confirm the Guardians approach.This being the pivotal issue for the children.

    The Guardian stated this was impossible as no child expert (psychologist or psychiatrist) was employed within the whole of Cafcass. Wow!

    What invariably followed was -wishes and feelings, and P.A? Simply kicked into the long grass.

    How can an organisation charged with responsibility for children’s welfare be without the tools and expertise to fully carry this out? Isn’t this simply negligence?

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  10. Thank you Karen for this. My stepdaughter falls into the category on the far right side of your scale: enmeshed (forensic diagnosis) and a mother that refuses to acknowledge that false abuse allegations contributed to the complete and utter breakdown in a father / daughter relationship. My husband has been blamed by his daughter, the ex-wife, psychologists for the rejection. It is interesting that he whilst he was in favour of recommended therapy, he did not believe it would be effective whilst his daughter was still in the enmeshed relationship with the mother. My husband and I have done much reading of Dr Childress and it is indeed encouraging to see that your work is aligning with his work. It has been 3 years and 7 months since their last meaningful contact, paradoxically it was a wonderful family holiday. I am always hopeful that my husband and my stepdaughter will find their way back to each other, and the honest and loving relationship they had will overshadow the years of indoctrination and alienation she has suffered. Your work is inspirational and so important and I hope for other families affected by this abuse of children will not suffer so long and without hope. Your work will hopefully provide accepted scientific protocols that will protect children from the carnage of the family courts and incompetent therapists that are happy to take the money but have scant little regard for the outcomes for these children and their families.

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  11. Hi Karen,

    Yes I would be very happy to write an article for your website along the lines you suggest. There does appear to be a problem with the original web link I sent which I will investigate. I’ll look forward to your e-mail. In the meantime here is a Youtube link which I know works. The first 14 minutes is a presentation given by James Williams (Mens Matters Radio) on the subject of PAS and after that is an interview with myself that details my experiences.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qniq-a2k88

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    1. Brilliant, thanks Luke, will have a look at that You Tube link, very useful. The new site will have space for things like this, we are bringing together people who are working to raise awareness and those who are working in the same way as us on the issues – though for now those people are international rather than national. Our aim is to provide a place where the issue of alienation can be understood and resources can be obtained and those who want to raise awareness can get the materials and support that they need to do so. We will also provide a list of practitioners working in the field that we recognise as offering alienation aware services, though there are few in the UK right now, I think this area will grow quickly from now on. I think your work fits well with us and we welcome that very much. K

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