"when you are pregnant you want to do everything to be ready for your baby - but we were afraid to decorate the room because we didn't know if we'd be allowed to keep her"I saw Mia - Daughters of Fortune - by Mind the Gap Theatre Company - last night at artsdepot Finchley - do try to see it in Waterloo or Deptford or somewhere.As Shakespeare said in Hamlet "The plays the thing wherein to catch the conscience of the king" - this should be on prime time TV and it should be compulsory viewing on every training course for government ministers, family court judges, barristers & solicitors and for every social worker in the land.In the show the cast ask the audience - if a learning disabled person is having a baby who is the most important person?A GP receptionistB social workerC midwifeD mother to beThe audience at artsdepot voted D but they were wrong - I'll bet readers of my Parents Protecting Children UK page could get the right answer!There's a lot of use of film within the show - in one clip a very capable learning disabled mother said - "when you are pregnant you want to do everything to be ready for your baby - but we were afraid to decorate the room because we didn't know if we'd be allowed to keep her"They use the clever device of an onstage video camera, feeding back to the audience, to expose the gruelling agony of the 135 question parenting assessment - so many questions are irrelevant or class and income based and would never be asked of a 'nice middle class family' or to which a 'nice middle class family' would answer 'we have insurance or a policy with British Gas to cover that' - and yet not being able to do lots of difficult household things (which I'd personally never attempt) are recorded as failures for a poor or learning disabled family. By packing the assessment with ridiculous questions the social workers ensure that the percentage score for the poor or learning disabled family is kept low.When asked if she knows how to sterilise bottles, the young pregnant woman says 'yes I remember from the last time' and you suddenly realise she already had a child, but it was taken away.One of the characters, in a very low key way, tells that one day she got a phone call - to tell her not to pick her child up from school -because social services had already collected the child and placed him with a foster family. She hadn't even been given the opportunity to say goodbye, she'd delivered her son to school and would never see him again.The free programme and accompanying written material - points out the extent to which advocacy groups believe that children being taken from learning disabled parents is under-reported.Mia is coming up again at Waterloo on 1&2 March and in Deptford on 14 March - I don't know about non london showings - they are from Bradford and already took it to the Edinburgh festival.
Thursday, 22 February 2018
Learning Disability Parents - Mia (stage production)
Daughters of Fortune - Mind the Gaphttp://www.mind-the-gap.org.uk/projects/daughters-of-fortune/