New ‘ACE’ branding, same old junk science

In November 2012, the National Risk Framework to Support the Assessment of Children and Young People was published. 

As a comprehensive useful idiots’ guide to tick-box tyranny based on prevention (i.e. junk) science, the document made no mention of ‘consent’ or ‘confidentiality’, yet required professionals to breach overarching human rights and data protection legislation by gathering and sharing sensitive personal data on children, parents, other family members and associated adults without the need for their informed, freely given consent, or even their knowledge. 

Hark at this:

…there is a need to take account of, not only current circumstances but past history and future potentials. This means we have to investigate and explore family circumstances in some detail in order to acquire adequate grasp of how needs may have gone unmet and how risk circumstances may have emerged. Using the understandings acquired, Named Persons, Lead Professionals and others then need to project the future probability or likelihood of harm and to determine if this harm is significant in nature or not. Projection of probable risk of harm significantly also means that there is a potential for error in terms of what we think may occur. This is no small task indeed.”

“The Risk Recording Sheets should not be given out to children/families to complete. Rather, they should be used by practitioners to provide as comprehensive a picture as possible. They are, thus, an aid to ensuring that all relevant information is being gathered and where information is not known, to assist professionals make a decision as to whether this information is necessary to the decision making process. The risk indicators may also help support and inform discussions between the child and their family and the services involved in developing appropriate and proportionate responses to the needs/risks identified. In all circumstances practitioners should seek to obtain an overview of the child’s world (the child’s/family’s history, family composition and relationships) in order to make better sense of what may be going on. To achieve this all work with children and young people should be supported by the use of clear Chronologies, Genograms and EcoMaps.

[our bold]

The Generic Risk Indicators (from page 39 onwards) are especially shocking, demonstrating that every child is deemed to be at risk and every parent/carer is deemed to be a riskA truly disturbing document which has encouraged the routine breaching of human rights and data protection legislation.

How many boxes do you tick? Or, more accurately, how many boxes have been ticked about you by total strangers you may never have met? And how are the ‘profiles’ created by these total strangers, without your informed consent, being used?

Fast forward six years – during which there has been no end of adverse publicity,  legal challenges and a tightening of data protection legislation under GDPR – and we find they have  simply re-branded their list of ‘wellbeing’  risk indicators as ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences), which apparently need to be collected via fishing expeditions and  ‘assessments’  to ‘close the attainment gap’.

Actually, it’s just the latest desperate attempt to  to case-work (or should that be ACE-work?) the population and ‘include’ every citizen’s  private information on hopelessly insecure government databases.  Regardless of the (allegedly) legitimate aim, watch out for the same old totalitarian means they are proposing to use in order to achieve it.

The parrot is still dead. Gathering and sharing subjective ‘wellbeing’ data about individuals and associated third parties without consent is still neither ethical nor lawful and we, the data subjects, hold all the ACEs. Get over it!

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