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tiistai 26. huhtikuuta 2016

How can cultural differences allow them to treat me like an animal?

Mary*

I came to Finland in 2010, I was pregnant and had a 5-year old with me. I gave birth in March, but my older child wasn’t doing well. I asked for help because something was wrong with her. The social workers came to the reception centre and took her away, saying they’d bring her back. They later said she had been abused but the doctor who saw her said she was not sure. The social workers said they would take the child away. I began to cry and asked someone to take (hold) the baby because in my culture one is not allowed to cry while holding a baby. But they took the baby although I was still breastfeeding. They came everyday for about a month to take milk from me, like I was an animal. How can cultural differences allow them to treat me like an animal?

I later found out that the older child had an infection and that doctors said she had been abused. Police began an investigation as I was under suspicion. After a bit over two years I was cleared but they didn't inform me and I didn't get my children back. My children now speak only Finnish because the former social workers didn't allow them to have any English teaching. Both kids live with the same foster family. The baby is now five years old and the older one is 10. I don’t know where they live, I don’t have a phone number and I am not allowed any contact outside of official visits. Yet they tell me I should cooperate more with the foster parents. I never signed any documents to give up custody of my children, and I was only allowed to see them once a month for three hours. What have I done? I now have a new social worker, who is younger and more understanding and since last autumn I have been able to see the kids more often. There is a big difference between the younger and older social workers.



YLE 8.3.2016 Finnish child welfare: Child protection or "for profit" foster care?
http://yle.fi/uutiset/finnish_child_welfare_child_protection_or_for_profit_foster_care/8725326
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