Skegness to host child protection conference

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A CONFERENCE highlighting the emotional turmoil caused when families are separated rather than supported by the state will take place in Skegness next week.

The Child Protection and Future of the Family Conference features key speakers including MPs, experts on child welfare and parents who have suffered in the current social services system.

The two-day event, which runs from 9am to 6pm on Wednesday and Thursday September 12 and 13 at the Suncastle on North Parade, has been co-organised by a Hogsthorpe man who has experienced the anguish of family separation first-hand.

Andrew Preacher said: “My wife has mild learning difficulties and together we were struggling with our two children.

“We went to the state to ask for assistance and within three months they had taken our children - that was six years ago and we’ve not had them since.

“We’ve tried all the legal channels but no one wants to know, they refuse to check the evidence.

“In our case this has led to my wife developing serious mental problems, she has been self-harming and even attempted suicide. In the end it forces you to become the very thing you were accused of in the first place.”

Mr Preacher and Boston woman Stephanie Freeman, had originally given the conference the more inflammatory title of ‘Child Stealing by the State’ as he believes there is something fundamentally wrong with the current child protection system.

He said: “It’s a psychopathic and greedy government and the social workers are without empathy.”

Key speakers at the event include John Hemmings MP who has been outspoken in his views on children being taken into care and not returned and Roger Hayes from the British Constitutional Group.

The Mayor of Skegness Coun Mark Anderson will open the conference, which he was keen to support due to his belief in the importance of providing children with protective and nurturing environments to grow up in.

He said: “In my opinion child welfare is the most important thing in our society.

“Children need to have good role models and parental figures to enjoy a good upbringing.

“In my role as a former county councillor I regularly visited children’s homes and it was heartbreaking to see children who had been split up from their parents - you could see the grief in their eyes.

“Once that bond is broken it’s very hard to repair.”

If you are interested in visiting the conference, which is free to attend, contact Mr Preacher on 01754 228273.