This is what it’s like for a MOTHER to lose her child ‘The pain doesn’t go away’!!!
WHY IS IT FAIR PLAY FOR A MOTHER TO STOP A SEPARATED FATHER SEEING THEIR CHILDREN.
Here we explore the traumatic reality of women who have their children taken into care.
A heartbreaking film written by a Bristol mum tells of the harrowing experience of women who have had their children removed into care.
The poignant four-minute short video ‘The Judgement’ was produced by a mum working with Pause Bristol, a programme run by charity One25 which is attempting to help her and women like her cope with the trauma of having their children taken away.
The Judgement is just one woman’s story, but it highlights the devastating reality faced by mums in the city. Many of these women have been victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, childhood abuse or addiction.
Mums in this situation can also have learning difficulties, mental health issues, are care leavers themselves or have a history of offending. Factors which mean a number of them have also experienced street sex-working in the city.
‘A mother with a background of extreme abuse and deprivation’
‘The Judgement’ beings with the words of a judge at Bristol’s Family Court, who has decided a woman’s child must be placed for adoption.
The mum explains how she struggled to cope with looking after her son without any support, despite her efforts.
She then talks through the stages she went through to try to prove to social services she could be a better mother.
The words of the judge explain there is still too little in the way of services to help mothers in her situation. “This mother is not a lost cause and she should not be treated as such,” he says.
“It’s not her fault she was treated as she was as a child. It’s not her fault she’s been left with the difficulties she has. It’s not her fault those difficulties have not healed.
“If this mother had been offered therapy at an earlier stage, if her needs had been recognised and answered, is there not a possibility that the outcome of these proceedings might have been different,” he adds.
‘The pain doesn’t go away’
It is within a therapeutic creativity setting this mum has now been able to tell her truth. Along with a scriptwriter, two actors and a filmmaker from One25, she could set out the difficult reality of her situation.
While she is without her children for the time being, with the help of Pause she has started college and desires to be “a woman who does things with her life”.
Pause Bristol, which was launched in the city in 2017, helps these women take control of their lives and ultimately break the catastrophic cycle of having their children removed.
The team was set up in conjunction with Bristol City Council and One25, an organisation which supports street sex-workers in Bristol.
Research carried out by Pause found at least 127 women in Bristol had a combined total of 414 children removed from their care in the five years between 2012 and 2017.
Its priority is to help those women who have had more than two of her children removed by authorities. They currently have funding to work with 20 women in Bristol.
‘I want my kids to be proud of their mum’
In a particularly heart-wrenching clip of the film, she says she is striving for her children to be proud of her.
She says: “And when they’re older, I want them to understand their mum tried to be a better person for them.”
The project is in its second 18-month phase after a successful pilot, which it is believed could have saved the taxpayer an estimated amount of £140,000 in that time.
That figure, however, is a very conservative estimate given it does not include the cost it will save the NHS, public health, housing, adult social care or other agencies.