Letter: Witchhunt of social workers is unfair

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The Independent Online
NEAL ASCHERSON'S article ('Damn the children when the Devil must be found', 13 December) demonstrates the thinking of a man who observes and records for a living.

He does not have to lie awake at night worrying about a child who may not survive the night or who may be hurt or tortured.

I suggest that Mr Ascherson attempts to empathise with social workers who are trying to deal with human situations that involve sexuality, sexual health and/or sexual abuse. He may get in touch with feelings of anger, fear, guilt, impotence, vulnerability and disbelief.

I am not a social worker but I recognise that they are given little training to ensure they are able to deal with these feelings and that they do not let them influence their professional behaviour. It is awful that some social workers do not make the right decisions or have the skills to deal with these frightening situations.

Despite a lack of resources and training, social workers still have a statutory obligation to act wherever there is suspicion of child abuse.

Let's help social workers by supporting them, demanding better resources and adequate and appropriate training and better staffing, not collude in witchhunts of them.

Our main interest should be ensuring that children are safely cared for in their own homes.

Gill Lenderyou

Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey

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