FAMILIES who claim to have had children unfairly taken from them by Herefordshire's children's services staged a demonstration to highlight their case.

The county has an abnormally high number of children removed from family homes, some still as babies, and many of those affected contest the grounds on which council social workers have done this.

The demo, which was given police permission, was held at the landmark bull statue by the Black and White House in Hereford city centre.


Banners highlighting the service's failures were draped on the plinth, with a public inquiry being demanded.

The demo was organised by Eddy Parkinson and Lyn Summers of Stolen Childhood (Herefordshire) Facebook group, which currently has more than 100 members.

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"There's too many children being taken into care who don't need to be," said Ms Summers.

"Money spent on children in care could be spent on bypasses, doing the pavements so people don't fall over or potholes.

"Something needs to be done - we need to be heard. These children are absolutely devastated about why they're being bundled in a car.

Hereford Times: Lyn Summers, who helped organise the demonstrationLyn Summers, who helped organise the demonstration (Image: Paul Rogers/Hereford Times)

"The turmoil they're facing and being isolated from their families is just not on. So we're here today to try and get some sort of justice for these little children and their families.

"Mothers and fathers can't get to sleep because they're always trying for their children - you don't go through nine months of pregnancy and delivery for your children to go into care. It's just not right.

"Hopefully something will be done." 


Children's services in Herefordshire was officially rated inadequate by Ofsted inspectors last year ago, and placed under Government oversight, headed by children’s commissioner Eleanor Brazil.

Ofsted has said that it is 'slowly improving' though, with Ms Brazil's final report expected in due course.

“Recruitment and retention of staff is slowly moving in the right direction as Ofsted has pointed out, and we now have a workforce that's more stable and with more internal progression,” said Darryl Freeman, corporate director for children and young people at Herefordshire Council.