Thank you for this post to a parent who wishes to remain anonymous.

“I will be back on Monday, you see, I just need a loan to get a van on the road” I happened to be a spectator as a man vented his rage . I gathered that he had been ordered to attend a basic skills course as part of the jumping hoops that goes hand in hand with claiming job seekers allowance.

At one time I would have just dismissed this man as bad tempered and full of pride. Today I recognise the primary driver of his rage as shame. In part of his diatribe he announced he was a time served painter and decorator, he had plenty of work just waiting for him.

Shame is the brother of guilt and the two are often confused. Put simply guilt tells us that we have done something bad whereas shame informs us that we are bad. Guilt can be a positive emotion, it regulates our behaviour. Shame tends to escalate behaviour, rage, irrationality, increase of mental health problems, even suicidal thoughts can all arise out of shame.

We are all guilty of using shame to control others, it increases our power and diminishes theirs. It is also a useful short cut when we are lacking time or stressed ourselves. It is wrong though. Shame eats away at pride, self esteem and dignity of the victim. It isolates and makes any chance of a fruitful relationship almost impossible.

So back to our decorator, the trainer was a woman in her thirties, he was certainly nearer sixty. Of the generation when a school leaver could finish school without any formal qualifications on a Friday and walk into an apprenticeship on a Monday. He  was now being faced with having his literacy and maths  assessed after years of employment, he would have felt humilated. It was not the trainer’s fault, but nevertheless he reacted out of shame.

The Care Crisis Review a culture of blame and shame within child protection. Shame is dishonouring, it tells a person that they are less than, not good enough, it shatters  self esteem and sets up a cycle of conflict.

It can be intentional, just as matter of unfortunate circumstances or it can be intentionally built into a system. I would suggest that  in some Government schemes such as benefit sanctions shame is embedded into system. I can also see that within the child protection system ,children can exhibit shame based behaviours after intervention and family members certainly do.

Certainly some shaming is deliberate, it is one of the prime tools of bullying, as it gives power . When used personally , it is also a sign of immaturity, small children use it to regulate each others behaviour. Shaming is also widely used in social media, probably more so than in “real life”.

Families often come into child protection because of problems of domestic violence, addiction or mental health impairments; all of which are to some extent shame based. Domestic violence certainly can be fuelled by shame, a perpetrators  need to control and shame their victim may arise out of their own feelings of inadequacy. The victim in turn, feels too ashamed to get help. Addiction and mental illness, which are often intertwined can often be traced back to childhood trauma, sometimes inter generational trauma, which is shame based.

Those of us who live with shame on a daily basis learn the shame game, we react rather than act. Interventions in our lives our perceived as personal threats whether they are or not and we defend ourselves, by shaming back and/ or avoidance.  In other words the classic fight or flight response. Parents aggressively  shame social workers and judges on social media and withdraw from working with professionals. There seems to be too much at stake as any intervention seems targeted at undermining the very person we perceive ourselves to be, making us feel small.

It’s ugly. What encourages me though it is certainly no more gross than the apartheid in South Africa which came peacefully to an end through reconciliation. To some extent , the regular contributors on this forum have demonstrated this willingness to listen and respect each others viewpoint and it has worked , we have found common ground despite our diverse backgrounds. We have said ” I hear you” , even if I don’t like what you do I will see you as a human being with something valuable to contribute to the debate. Not always, but for a very good percentage of the time.

As I  said, it happened in South Africa, it was not about forgiveness, though that sometimes was the outcome, it was about having space and safety to have the injured parties story told. If you think I have gone off on a tangent , I haven’t; people were imprisoned , killed and segregated for being non white. They were shamed for being born the wrong colour. As Helen Sparkles says parents are mainly sad not bad, they may have been brought up in care themselves or have a combination of the problems already mentioned. They can be shamed through the system, for a variety of reasons, some of which relate to lack of resources. I am not saying they are all victims , but some are. The power imbalance is enormous and shaming is related to power.

When working with parents displaying shame based behaviours, I would suggest trying to build them up rather than taking them apart. Assertion training is excellent and gives woman in particular options other than passive /aggressive behaviour.  She can then model these learned skills to her children. I am not being condescending, just writing from experience. When I was treated with respect by a social worker, I relaxed, he relaxed and we formed a working relationship. I do recognise that social workers themselves are often working in shame based environments, for instance is not disrespectful to expect them to hot desk, what does this actually say about what their employer thinks about them?

I would like all those involved in what ever capacity in the child protection system to consider the following:

  1. Become aware of how and why you shame people in your relationships.
  2. Notice your payback through shaming
  3. Work through the implications of the damage that occurs to others and yourself through shaming.
  4. If you do need to confront someone, try and accomplish this with respect.

This is a huge subject, I have in this blog post just tackled the tip of the iceberg. It is important as it is such a negative feeling, endemic on all sides in child protection and never leads to a positive outcome.

25 thoughts on “Shame

  1. HelenSparkles

    Well, I’ve not been here for a while and kind of you to name check me, and nice that I popped back for this post. I think you’d give Brené Brown a run for her money on shame. Her words stuck in my head some years ago that shame is “I am bad” guilt is “I did something bad”.

  2. Angelo Granda

    A very interesting post about shame ,extremely well thought out.
    I don’t think shame and the shaming of others is in anyway linked to poverty,misfortunes suffered in the care system and I don’t think it can be predicated on anyone’s antecedents.After all, professionals who shame are not usually disadvantaged or living in poverty.
    The professionals are also sad not bad and we should not shame individuals or blame them for the shortcomings of an out of control system.
    It is a common human failing to
    ‘ Compound the sins we are inclined to
    By damning those we have no mind to’.

    A person gets satisfaction in denouncing and shaming others less fortunate perhaps or or of a different colour ,social cast etc. but gives a cold reception to laws restraining discrimination and prejudice and/or rules and ethics; and vice versa.i
    I empathise with cp professionals and expect them to empathise with me.

    Whoever it is who shames others and bullies others, I believe,lacks moral fibre and one cannot really blame individuals for that either! One can only blame the educational system and its failure to instil morals ,compassion and generosity into them.
    Qualities such as respecting ones elders, treating ones neighbours as one would like to be treated and unselfishness,devotion to good not bad practices and so on have to be taught early on in life.I think the system fails us in that respect.Self indulgence,self-ambition and materialism seems to be encouraged .
    To the writer of the post- you have suggested a link between shame and mental illness. Is it possible the overriding factor is UNHAPPINESS as an entity,given that anyone can succumb to mental problems ,rich or poor,proud or ashamed?

    1. Sam

      Angelo there is a link to mental illness. A person who is in contact with another who has a cold is quite likely to catch it, in other words it is outside factors that cause you to catch a cold. With mental illness, some of it is undoubtedly genetic, but other facors are environmental which includes being subject to shame by others and systems. As you know , I have rattled on a bit in the past about domestic violence. Victims are frequently shamed and undermined within relationships , which results in higher than average mental health problems .
      It is I think common sense that if you are regularly told that you are worthless that it will have an affect on your mental health.

      1. Angelo Granda

        Sam,I wasn’t denying the link,I agree there will be .I meant unhappiness maybe the overriding factor in mental illness with shame and many other problems being part and parcel of the general malaise.
        I know illnesses can be hereditary and that will include mental illness but I am always against predicating on antecedents because in any family the members differ so much,some will be happy and some not etc.Some ashamed for various reasons thus unhappy and some very successful ,well off materially but unhappy.
        Same as autism,that is known to be genetic but not necessarily hereditary.Not every member of a family will be autistic but it will be in their genes.Thus it is dangerous to predicate and to classify folk on antecedents in the social work sense making second-class citizens of them.This is how discriminatory practices can come into being .
        Hope you can follow what I am getting at.
        I am suggesting that general happiness depends on a good,solid moral grounding from an early age,one which teaches people not to be ashamed of their circumstances and a realisation that life is not meant to be all sweetness and light,it is a never-ending round of joy one minute and woe the next ( as depicted by the poet Blake) .
        Once we realise that our lives on earth is a TEST ,then we are able to adapt and subdue ourselves to it.
        We should never be ashamed of general misfortune and always follow simple moral principles and devote ourselves daily to them perhaps ritually.Children should be taught those qualities and beliefs.If not ,crimes and sins such as domestic violence is bound to proliferate . Of course, we are all guilty in some way.Even SW’s.For example a person can be gentle not violent but the biggest liar and alcoholic.
        Happiness depends on moral principles and these seem to have gone by the board,I think.
        Sorry if this sounds a load of old nonsense.
        Perhaps I should make an appointment with AMHS for counselling,ha-ha!,ha-ha!.Then they’ll come and take me away ha-ha!
        Orthodox moral principles in the form of Christianity and the many other world religions equally principled lies between society and barbarianism.
        DV which ruined your life and perjury which ruined mine is part of it.

        1. Sam

          Angelo I agree that acceptance is really important to live a happy life. I don’t think they are giong to take you away any time soon.

      2. Angelo Granda

        Readers, It may be of interest to you that I understand Blake ended up in an asylum at the end of his life.

  3. Angelo Granda

    But i have checked the post again and you both made the link.

    As far as girls and boys being ashamed thus resorting to self-harm and mental illness, i would say that no-one should ever be ashamed of their body or appearance and that should be instilled into children at primary school,especially fortunate youngsters should have it emphasised that shaming or bullying the ugly or handicapped is wrong. One good way would be to set a good example ,perhaps an ugly child supervised by an ugly but well-adjusted prefect and vice-versa a bully by one who is kind and sympathetic to all by nature.
    I guess there are several reasons for a child being ashamed of his or her looks ; primarily it would be a feeling of envy of other children who they see as more ‘normal’ than themselves. Jealousy and envy is a vice, one which will inevitably lead to unhappiness and shame as all others. So it should be stressed at primary school that each person is an individual and that beauty is in the eye of the beholder not oneself.Children should be taught to accept themselves and others as they are and not to set themselves as above or below others.
    There is always,for example, a tendency for girls to be ashamed because they ‘think’ themselves overweight. Yet in actual fact ,from my experience , boys don’t like thin girls so why not have a whole lesson dedicated to putting it over. Diana was often slated in the papers for being too skinny and now i see they’re starting on Megan for the same thing. So those with naturally skinny legs should never be shamed for it by the same token.

    Wayward parents should never be shamed either and SW’s should remember that.Never judge people by their appearance, there is good in everyone. People probably look at me and think at first sight, ,there goes a villain if ever there was one but they should not be misled by the scar above my right eye. I got it in a cycling accident.

    The BEST way to reform any parent is also to lead by example. It’s a good idea ,if a woman fails to keep the house clean,perhaps, to stop gathering evidence in your notebooks for a change and to roll up your sleeves and spend two or three hours showing her how to do it . Show her how to wash clothes by hand if she has no washer and also consider using some of the LA’s bonus from ‘needy families’ programme to equip her kitchen and cleaning cupboard.Be more positive. If the house is substandard, help Mum protect her children by going in person with her to housing ; use your influence to get the family to the top of the list for rehousing.

    If either of the parents are addicted to alcohol or drugs,SW’s should never shame them ,they should arrange treatment for them. Not by lamely recommending ineffective ‘ counselling’ and not by ruining their lives and going to Court. Arrange effective TREATMENT for the illness ( addiction) they have. Establish what that is for a start. I would say that heroine-addicts, in particular , need high dependency in-patient care for several weeks to wean them off the drug followed by weekly monitoring home visits by skilled medical staff and a SW. If the NHS can’t supply that need,the Government will pay £4000 under its ‘needy families’ scheme towards paying for private treatment.
    Hope i haven’t gone off subject . I hope this discussion about shame goes further,all comments welcome and I would like to add this motto to the CPR list .


    By the way , might i suggest that an obese Mum be helped by one of the fat SW’s to show her that to be overwieght is nothing to be ashamed of and perhaps to teach her how to exercise.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I think your heart is in the right place but I don’t think your proposed interventions are going to work, or at least not for the majority of people. For many parents in care proceedings, the social worker has already ‘shown’ them how to clean their house; I have quite a few cases where the LA have paid for a skip, deep cleaned the house and sent in family support workers for a few hours each week. Nothing changes. That is because often the problems parents have are manifold. If you are depressed, taking drugs, dealing with historical trauma etc, etc it can be very difficult to motivate yourself and do what you know needs to be done.

      I agree it would be very helpful for children to have mentors, for all sorts of reasons. But by the time a case gets to care proceedings stage then often interventions are needed in many different settings but there isn’t the time or money to sort those out. I refer to recent article in Observer

      And I will make the point again. The problems in the system go far beyond simply blaming the lawyers for not acting on misuse of legal powers. Even if accepted that is what we routinely do, which I certainly don’t!

      1. Angelo Granda

        Sarah,Thanks as always for your contribution and patience but I find it almost entirely negative.
        As looked after child wrote on another thread along with all the positive and informed research links,it is quite basic really and many cp professionals are not quite with it on the basics.
        If nothing has changed with the families you mention then it is as a result of the protection SYSTEM we are all wanting to REFORM. It is not about ‘ blaming’ them ,SW’s or lawyers for it but mending the system.
        I thought we had all agreed already the care system is unfit for purpose,there is a power imbalance and the judicial system hanging on by a thread if not broken.
        I don’t know about the figures in the Guardian article.It says a shortfall of 700million but the last one I saw quoted was
        Perhaps the figure I saw recently in a link is more pertinent.In one area ( can’t remember where) it was said that 70% of the social work budget is spent on private care home services.You know politicians are prone to misappropriate public funds as we all do.Why not look in that direction?
        The writer of this post has suggested that the shaming of parents and children leads to failure and mental illness and has researched it well.
        A more positive approach and constructive questions and answers called for.

        1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

          I am sorry you find reality so negative. What would you propose for a adult who has a multitude of problems? Just one type of intervention will make little to no different.

  4. Angelo Granda

    The post writer has put four positive suggestions for a better approach and I can think of ways in which to avoid shaming families but it would mean radical reform of methods and the system and much earlier useful work to prevent matters becoming dire in the first place ( a policy you have suggested.)
    I shall put them down for you in the next day or two.
    Right now,one way to preventing shame would be to change the name of Children’s Services and banish the use of the term Social Worker.Social Services too!
    Those organisations are infamous,are an immediate threat and any involvement with them incurs instant shame and disrespect from neighbours and the children’s schoolmates.
    Hope this is a constructive start.
    Readers,any others suggestions to start us off?

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Changing the name of something is usually touted as a cure all. It’s not. It’s like painting a damp wall. The real problem will seep through. Changing the name of the Spastics Society did very little to combat people’s ingrained prejudice against the disabled. I think it’s cosmetic.

      Sorry, I don’t mean to be relentlessly negative. But I am really not convinced this would work.

  5. Angelo Granda

    Thanks Sarah. Yes,i suppose you are right in what you say; it could never be a cure-all and its no good because the dysfunction will always re-appear.Therefore , after a rethink, I say that the present organisation should be disbanded and the employees forced to either take redundancy or reapply for a post in a brand new system to be formed. This course, though seemingly extreme is the only real, effective solution. There is recent precedent in other industries dogged and brought to ruin by institutional malpractices, industrial spanish practices and self-interest,profiteering etc. I refer to the dockworkers and the newspaper and magazine printing industries. Dissolution,redundancies and complete re-organisation.
    As i think the Government suggested in its ‘vision for change’ ,changes have to be radical and especially to the management. I suggest, along the same vein, that management ,both executive and mid should be sacked completely .These old-stagers are so set in their ways,they only resist change. Out with the old and in with new management. By all means ,continue to employ them but let it be in another Council Department ,perhaps housing,education or roads. We have to and they have to face reality .They represent FAILURE and they must be driven out.The good workers like Helen Sparkles should not be cast away unless they choose redundancy.They will be encouraged to seek a position in the new system. I suggest ,in her case, she should return to management in a training role and supervise the establishment of all the new working practices.
    So let us move on to establishing a completely new,fresh-thinking system. Forget about the last few decades and think of the future. A new ,bright future without blame or shame as discussed by the post-writer. It is so destructive to trust and working relationships between families and officials.
    Firstly,I suggest that the new organisation should have no connection whatsoever with any Local Authority. They should not be in child-protection at all because of the political implications and because they always put their own financial interests above the real best-interests of children. That problem is FATAL to any system which is to put families and children at the top of the agenda ,which our new one will.It is especially toxic to fair assessments and court hearings due to the policy imperatives .
    Secondly,I suggest the new organisation should be under the auspices of the NHS and there are several reasons for that.It should either be directly connected or a new offshoot of the Hospital Trust.Most of all, the NHS and each local health care trust already holds a special place in the community and it is generally trusted ( not despised and feared) by almost all especially families with children.No one ever feels ashamed at using the local healthcare institutions and no-one ever objects to obeying its instructions; they do not spurn the advice of its experts, midwives, almoners etc. They are quite willing to accept as much help as is offered to them and they feel entitled to it. They will usually be only too willing to take up support services, indeed the needy will be only too keen to grab as much benefit as they can. The NHS staff don’t usually dehumanize folk,taking away their dignity and they don’t usually appear to be judgmental, dogmatic and oppressive. They are well-trained and inspire the trust of service-users.

    Next, the new staff will not be referred as SOCIAL WORKERS. Those two words inspire fear,shame and are associated with child-abuse etc.
    Bearing in mind all the old ideas and ways are associated with failure, no new idea will be rejected out of hand and one big change is that from now on parents and children will be respected,listened to and considered along with professionals. Covert decisions and behind-closed doors assessments by men in grey suits will be out. Indeed the new approach will put respect and humanity to service-users to the top of the hierarchy.
    The new job-title should be something like community help worker, community family support worker, neighbourhood support or anything which reflects that the worker will be in the neighbourhood at all times,easily accessible and willing to offer help and advice to EVERY FAMILY with children. There will be no fear or shame involved because the new arrangement will be helping all families.Support will be supplied universally and all will be entitled.Targeting of the vulnerable will be outdated , threshold criteria will not have to be met, evidence-gathering and notebooks will be taboo and the support will be not only welcomed but sought out and ‘claimed’ as a right.
    In fact,I propose that in all cases, the worker will actually reside in the neighbourhood in which they serve.Local applicants only should be recruited for each area and will be a well-known, respected individual. This will resemble the recruiting of local men ( respected stalwarts of the community) for positions as ARP warden in WW2, bricks of the community among the women as first-aiders and civil defence organisers during the Cold War and the selection of local people for neighbourhood watch etc. These workers will be welcome in most households . To make them even more trusted , they will be expected to wear some sort of uniform resembling those of a nurse or paramedic.


    1. Angelo Granda



      Establishing unquestioning trust between the family support worker ( whichever job-title given to her), the support hub she will represent and the service-users will be vital to the new system.
      This is my proposal. when new families are formed and babies go home, as a matter of normal course ( as now,i think) the community midwife visits the new Mum and child for two or three weeks to monitor the health of them both,give advice and discuss issues with Mum ( and Dad if he is at home).

      When the midwife makes her last statutory visit,she will arrange first to take with her the FSUPPW and introduce her to the family as a fellow employee of the NHS who is dedicated to community family support and co-ordination of services. The FSUPPW will be OPEN and CANDID with the parent,telling Mum it is a new NHS initiative designed to provide as much protection as possible to all the neighbourhood children until they reach majority and to help parents to care for their children. It will be emphasised that the support is universal and given as a matter of course to all families and especially to monitor the ongoing health including emotional and mental health of ALL families.No need to be ashamed .
      She will inform the parent of the type of help available to all and she will explain it is an entitlement and that she should not hesitate to ask for help when needed. She will hand Mum a booklet explaining standards,procedures etc.,information about the type of health problems which may occur ( including depression,stress,personality disorder ) plus a pamphlet in simple language which gives instruction to new Mums on essentials for childcare ,domestic housekeeping, cooking and so on. Lots of tips and it will be explained in the pamphlet also about the dreadful effects which sometimes ensue from shouting in front of children, drinking alcohol in the home,say no to drugs advice and all the rest. I propose a list of house rules in the pamphlet such as no shouting indoors.No running indoors. No arguing in front of the children. Dad never to go home drunk etc.etc. If either Mum or Dad are illiterate, they can be given a free DVD or two included in which will be advice as to night school and free enrolment available.
      The FSW should then ask such questions as , phone no,e-mail address,next-of-kin etc. and ask which member of family will care for the children should Mum become indisposed or hospitalised .Mum will be reassured as to how such a situation will be dealt with.No deception ,everything families can expect will be explained.One popular parent who comments on this resource once asked a year or two ago ‘what do the current SW’s actually do? She could not see what support they actually supply. I think the answer to that is very little except,take notes and examine with legals whether there is enough evidence to remove children from home and spend 60% of there time doing office-work and playing on the computer.
      Our new FSUPPW will ask Mum at the very first meeting. WHAT PROBLEMS ARE YOU HAVING AND HOW CAN I HELP YOU?

      At the end of the first meeting ,she shall hand Mum a few helpful freebies,nappies,baby cream etc and whatever she has available perhaps formula explaining that more is forthcoming. She can also explain that for any family on benefits and recognised as being a needy family that the Government will supply extra help in the form of a £4000 initial payment to the NHS with which to finance extra support ,household essentials etc.
      The old system has failed so our new service will do everything which the LA does NOT do well.


      It is to be hoped that the new Mum will look forward to the FSUPPW’s visits and these should be weekly at first but will gradually decrease in number as the family becomes settled naturally.However they will be at least monthly. The main reason for the visits will not be to criticise or issue edicts but to ask what problems are,what help might solve the problems and then the worker will endeavour to provide the support required.At the same time,the worker can watch out for obvious evidence of problems such as filth in the house, dirty mattresses,black-eyes and other signs of malfunction and endeavour to give all the advice she can. Don’t forget being local, she will also be privy to all the local gossip .She should be experienced in looking at problems realistically and acting proportionately and be absolutely clear her function is to help and support not to ‘rescue’children. If she sees evidence of law-breaking such as drug use , needles and so on or child-neglect ,then the right thing will be to report matters to the Police Public Protection Squad for investigation. It is the squad’s over-arching duty to protect child family members and to lay charges if necessary not the FSUPPW’S. Next time she visits ,if Mum is still there,she will carry on as before.She will be experienced in liaising with Housing Authorities, damp treatment, rubbish removal services available free etc. If she sees particular problems ,she can issue relevant pamphlets and/or advice DVD’s to Mum .
      Please note, the FSUPPW will also be introduced to all newcomers (with children) to the community at a home visit with the health visitor following a family registering with a GP and supply the same help and support .


      Mums will be expected to take babies and toddlers regularly to a clinic with other Mums to the local village hall or church hall,community centre or whatever. The children will be weighed ,measured , vaccinated etc. at these clinics and Mums will be issued with regular freebies such as C&G or Oster milk whichever she chooses, pure orange juice to last her, cod-liver oil and so on. All families attending will also be entitled to receive a ration from a free food bank ( rich or poor) in accordance with the number of children in the family. The stress at these clinics will also be on support.If Mum cannot go, then a relation or one of the older children will have to take the baby for weighing etc. and pick up the freebies.All this to be paid for by NHS in partnership with Government needy families scheme and the charities who organise the free food banks.


      As in countries run by the Mafia ,where crime and poverty abounds especially when the Police are ineffective, it will be the task of the FSUPPW’s to help tackle the problems faced by families.That is criminal activity which arises as a direct result of poverty and need. The causes of this will be recognised as being caused by politics,poverty and the lack of policing not by the Mums and youngsters themselves.

      One method of tackling these problems will be to engage with the people themselves and listen to them.At the family centre ,periodic meetings of families and the FSUPPW will be called plus other professionals and semi-professionals will be invited. A maeutic approach will be taken at these meetings which will have round-tables and service-users will be heard not ignored .The problem families are best able to define their problems,how to solve them and so on and what causes crime and they should be heard. No-one wants poverty and all naturally want the best they can for their children.For many reasons, they are unable to supply it and they are to be helped not punished for their shortcomings which are systemic anyway. This does not always transalate into money and often it is due to lack of education and opportunities. Efforts should be made to help the communities as a whole.In the past social work staff have wasted resources on endless plans and schemes which go nowhere and due to the LA connection, most of the funds and benefit ends up in the pockets of private commerce.It is to be hoped this will change.

      To be continued.

  6. Annnuallu


    Some suggestions emanating from similar discussions in the past.

    Education. Support offered to concentrate on basic education regarding morals and rectitude. It should be recognised that crime and moral badness does not come as a direct result of material poverty indeed poor communities are often happy. The lack of jealously, envy, the pursuit of wealth and the acceptance of ones position in life, humility and mutual respect of others is actually good. The poorest, least affluent and demanding societies are the happiest. It is when they are denied security and when they are oppressed that these communities are drawn into crime . When others in society cleverer than them are taking most of the wealth and depriving them of a living also amassing material wealth and flaunting it, that leads to covetousness and crime.
    Therefore, the best way to prevent crime and gangs is to instil a sense of moral goodness and correct behaviours and respect for other peoples belongings into children from an early age. Particularly not to be ashamed of what they are, who they are, what they look like etc. and that envy and coveting other people’s looks and belongings is wrong.

    Police support.

    Another way in which crime and gangs in a neighbourhood can be stopped is good policing 24 hours a day with local bobbies on the beat. Unfortunately, modern day police authorities (with the usual LA emphasis on budgetary constraints) can no longer afford to supply this. Communities must be policed and it must be done properly. For example much domestic violence could be stopped were a bobby to walk his beat night and day looking and listening for signs of criminality. Loud shouting, unruliness ,drunkenness and obvious drugged up behaviour should be stamped down on. If a man emerges from a pub shouting and threatening, clearly out of control and acting in a disorderly manner and proceeds to stagger home. It is best not to wait for an emergency call when it is too late. Offenders should be arrested, charged, locked up for the night and put before a Magistrate not tenderly helped home where he can wreak havoc, bashing his wife and abusing his children. Landlords should have their licenses taken away if they serve drunks too much alcohol and pubs which are habitually rough closed down. Same with drugs. We cannot blame dysfunctional communities for these systemic failures. A good family support system must include good policing . In the new system , we will not expect Police to pass the buck to Social Services, indeed they won’t be able to if the CS is disbanded.

    Opportunities. These are ideas which communities have come up with in other countries.

    A few acres to be purchased compulsorily or several strips of land around the neighbourhood to be given over to city farming. The people to be educated and shown how to care for Chickens goats, pigs possibly plus the cultivation of vegetables and fruit . Eggs, butter ,cheese and the crops to be turned over to the community food bank and handed out free. A pony or two and saddles for girl’s riding lessons.

    A house or industrial unit to be purchased compulsorily and utilised as a Community bakery. Bread and delicious cakes made by the community and given free to the community. Use some of the needy families money to buy the flour. Eggs and cream from the city farm.

    Handicraft classes. Parents shown how to use wood and metal to make utility furniture rather than buy it.

    When parents suggest ideas like these, they will not be rubbished ,if they want it they will be supported and encouraged.


    It is to be envisaged that the children are the future and the work with them shall be directed at education and activities likely to create settled, balanced, ethical and moral, selfless parents to future generations. The benefits of support work to children now will show in 15 years time.
    Children thrive on a good education ,fun and routine.

    This support will be supplied by our hard-working FSUPPW.
    Saturday Club. to Noon. ALL children 5-12 to be invited and encouraged to go to this club. Indeed you won’t be able to keep them away. It will be held at the church hall or community centre where the clinics take place ,local and close to the heart of the community.
    9 TO 9.30———- Game of football or cricket for all .Bats and balls supplied by support funds.
    9.30-11.30—————— Bell. Then all children to walk inside .They will be presented every week with a bag of sweets or popcorn free and given a free picture show. This will be projected onto a big screen by our friendly support worker. The program will mainly be comprised of films teaching good ethics, behaviour, happy families, moral tales and parables, a cartoon but will end with an exciting thriller like Batman to be continued the following week.
    11.30 to 12———-Community singing and the judging of drawing competitions, talent competitions etc. for which each winner will receive a nice prize such as a book or cd token ( provided free by sponsors)) . On leaving the hall all the children will be given a free weekly comic full of suitable stories aimed at improving behaviours. No soft porn or predatory adverts in them.

    The children will look forward to Saturday club and all the free treats and the FSUPPW will be happy too in the knowledge that the support offered is bound to improve their behaviours and future opportunities.

    Saturday afternoon Club.
    After having lunch at home,10-12 year olds shall return to the hall for the oap help club. Running errands, shopping and gardening for local old people followed by another game of football or cricket. Each child to be rewarded with £3 for their good work to be held on account and paid annually.

  7. Angelo Granda

    Of course, we can only discuss it retrospectively but hyperthetically speaking after such a long time , can you identify if and how SHAME may have been the root cause of rage and violence ,coercion respect of your ex?
    There’s no need to tell us details but had you been advised about shame and the side-effects at the time by Police or probation services dealing with him( hyperthetically) would you have dealt with him differently? Would it have made any difference,for example,if he was ‘normal’ and happy? Is there a chance that girls act in ways which heap more shame upon disadvantaged and/or inadequate men?
    Consciously or subconsciously? Can you remember what triggered the attacks of ‘shame’ and all the attendant violence?
    If you can , relevant advice and warnings should be given to all victims of d.v.

    My own thoughts are that in most cases it might help matters were girls to avoid certain triggers but I don’t believe it would solve the main problem.
    The shame is caused by the basic inability to match his peers and the dv by moral badness resulting from the shame and envy. Children have to be taught such morals at an early age.Not to be jealous,overambitious and ashamed when they fall short.Success may come later.

    1. Sam

      If I had foresight I would not have married him in the first place. I can now see the tell tale signs of a potential abuser, which is why relationship education of young is so important.

  8. Angelo Granda

    Naturally,boys should be taught early the very basics.Always to respect the weaker sex and never ever to raise a hand at girls or raise their voices,threaten them etc.
    The moral training should start when they are toddlers.

  9. Angelo Granda

    Perhaps if you were to tell us the tell-tale signs,it will help. Although i suppose it is only human for a couple to look at one another through rose-coloured spectacles when they first meet, it would seem obvious that a woman should avoid any man who showed violent traits towards her.Likewise if his fiancee took to threatening and bashing him,a man should run a mile.

    As far as control is concerned,it is a little bit different,i guess. From a man’s point of view, i think he generally approaches marriage with the attitude that he will be the ‘man of the house’ and that he will be obeyed by his wife and his children .Happiness to him is having a wife content to be a homemaker for himself and their children whilst he will be content and do his part by going out to work in order to earn a living for all the family.Most importantly ,he wants a good woman behind him offering support; he wants her to be at home when he gets there and he expects the home to be clean, a meal on the table, a happy wife and happy children.He does not want his wife out killing herself working for an employer and neither does he want his children out at work until they are old enough.
    I recognise attitudes have changed a lot. Is the attitude i describe briefly above right or wrong in a girl’s eyes these days? Do you see it as one of your ‘tell-tale’ signs?
    If so, this is a big problem because it seems a perfectly fair philosophy to me.

    If a couple cannot decide on who has the final say on issues as and when they arise in life, then arguments are bound to occur. Someone has to be the decision-maker .If women cannot accept such a contract then the man must accept he has to obey his wife. This often does happen in practice; some men like to be dominated and actually some women do too. E.g. Katherine in Shakespeare was an argumentative shrew who only found happiness by marrying a man who dominated and controlled her.

    Such a simple concept but a couple has to agree on a decision-taker rather like a board of directors where the chair man has the casting vote. if the contract is broken by either partner, a marriage cannot last long.Sometimes wrong decisions will be made but one of the pair must have the over-ruling vote. I like the Lennon-McCartney song ‘ WE CAN WORK IT OUT’. Time will tell if a decision is right or wrong and it can be corrected. But if the authority of one partner cannot be accepted by the other then the couple are bound to fall apart before too long.
    Thanks for discussing it Sam. I look forward to your reply.

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  11. Angelo Granda

    It is disappointing that nobody has seen fit to comment on the suggestions i made for a new system of family support. I would expect no-one to agree with all of them and i imagine some have rubbished them but i did expect a comment .
    Maybe Helen would give us more news of the Leeds approach.
    Does anyone agree that management and methods should be completely overhauled and new policies introduced or are you all content with the system we have?
    It seems to me that the management and organisation of social support work is poor and the current working practices unfit for purpose. to single out one fault, i suggest the practice of assigning and expecting one individual SW to be totally responsible for ,let us say, 30 or 40 individual families is wrong. The families will be widely spread, cases are diverse, i imagine they spend a considerable amount of valuable time on the road and it is impossible for them especially when they are expected to be on the computer feeding in administrative data 60% of the time. They are bound to neglect some cases subjectively due to schedules and prioritising.
    Surely an area scheme and a worker appointed to each community offering help to all is a better idea.

  12. Angelo Granda

    This article is good news :-

    Some areas are making more radical changes at last. I think these support workers should visit ALL families with children within their patch providing a service to the whole community. If they target only the poor families ,they might be ashamed of it .No family likes to think they are a charity case and anyway many well-off families will have their own problems which call for equal consideration where moral guidance and domestic advice is concerned.

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