Mother in baby ordeal backs child service privatisation

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A MOTHER whose baby daughter was wrongly snatched by social workers just minutes after her birth has urged the Government to carry out its threat to privatise child protection in Doncaster.

On Wednesday, the Yorkshire Post revealed Doncaster Council could see its children’s services department taken over by an outside organisation because of long-running and repeated failures.

Kelly McWilliams, 36, said she would welcome the move, and added she believed the circumstances which led to the blunder over her baby Victoria could be repeated under the current regime.

Mrs McWilliams, of Scawthorpe, Doncaster, was still in labour when a social worker said her baby would be taken into care. She was forced to go through a six-month ordeal to get her back.

As soon as she had given birth at Doncaster Royal Infirmary on August 23, 2011, Victoria was taken away, and proceedings against Mrs McWilliams were not thrown out by a judge until Feburary 2012.

Mrs McWilliams, who has four older children, first spoke out at the beginning of March after the council ignored repeated requests for an investigation and apology from both by her and her lawyer.

At the time, Chris Pratt, Doncaster’s head of children’s services, told the Yorkshire Post the case would be “examined” and Mrs McWilliams contacted but anothing has happened a month on.

“I would back the privatisation 100 per cent,” she said. “Doncaster Council cannot be allowed to keep making mistakes. I was put through six months of hell.

“Social workers told lies about me and the death of my ten-year-old son, claiming it was suspicious when a coroner and the police had already said it was not.

“I am not prepared to shut up, and I want action taken against the social worker and the managers who made the mistakes which kept me apart from my baby.

“I had to be watched to make sure I could wash out a baby’s bottle and change a nappy and I already had four children. I had to go to court two days after Victoria was born. Whoever is doing making the decision should talk to me. I can tell them what it’s like.”

Doncaster Council has repeatedly refused to comment on Mrs McWilliams’s case.