School bullying or a dysfunctional family? This issue will be discussed today during the consideration of the case in the council of the Swedish city of Westeros – on the removal of young children from the family by the social service. A similar situation can occur in any country in the world and it is good if it ends well …
Moving to another country is always associated with certain difficulties. It is especially difficult for children to adapt in society. However, in this case, seven-year-old Matisse and five-year-old Samantha were born in Sweden – Zane Dreiere and her husband moved from Latvia to Sweden 10 years ago. On May 10, the couple were left without children, who were removed from the family by the social service due to the threat of domestic violence. What happened?
The problems started when the son went to school. The boy constantly complained that he was teased and beaten. The situation worsened, and the mother turned to an educational institution:
A few weeks ago, I reproached the school on the phone that the situation was out of control, because the child comes home every day and complains that he is beaten, poked and pushed. I asked if I needed to report somewhere further, because I, as a mother, must protect my child. They answered me, no, everything has already been passed on to the rector.
However, says Zane, the problem was not solved, and a fight broke out at the school:
The son was very worried that my mother would be angry, did not want to tell us, because he thought that we would be angry. Because we teach children at home that fighting is not good. Less than a week later, I received a call from social services. We were summoned for a conversation, the school wrote a statement about the situation at home, because Matisse told the teacher that he was afraid that his father would be angry, and they reported this to the social service, as if his father was beating him. We have a youngest daughter, Samantha, she was also taken away.
The social service called the parents with children on May 10 and announced that a decision had been made to remove the children from the family. Only on May 31 after that, the father and mother were allowed to meet with the children for two hours, under the supervision of social workers. Children, as a temporary measure, were placed in a foster family. Mother says bitterly:
They said they believed the children were being threatened and immediately took them away from the family. Our children are healthy – there have never been any injuries, no domestic violence. And the fact that sometimes parents raise their voices when they are not listening happens in any family. We are not a dangerous family, we are an ordinary family. We have never exposed (them) physically and mentally, we love our children and always do our best to promote their good development, living conditions, to provide them with everything they need.
After the removal of two children from the family, due to suspicions of domestic violence, which the parents categorically deny, they turned to the Latvian Embassy in Sweden. Now the embassy employees are looking into the situation, Sakaties.lv reports with reference to TV3. They said:
We have been working from the first day we received the information. This is a serious case of consular assistance involving young children and their removal from the family. Given that consular assistance is direct and individual, I cannot comment on a specific case. We do our best and believe that it is in the interests of a foreign state to resolve this issue as quickly as possible, because, of course, the child must be in the family.
The Latvian Ministry of Justice notes that similar situations with the removal of children from Latvian citizens occur regularly, especially in Scandinavia, where the rights of the child are very strict. On this incident, the ministry requested information about the circumstances of the case from the Swedish departments.
Head of the Department of International Cooperation Baiba Yugane-Lintere says:
“Our main goal is for these children to return to their biological family, and if this is not possible – to an extended biological family: to a grandmother, grandfather, sister or brother. If it is considered that a child cannot return to a biological family, we, with the involvement of Latvian social services, we are looking for opportunities for children to be transferred to an extended family. “
However, the Swedish social service has already warned that the resolution of the issue may last for years …