EXCLUSIVE: HOW THE UK’S MOST SECRETIVE COUNCIL USED A CHILD IN CARE FOR ITS OWN PROPAGANDA

This is Keelie Cooper. She was taken into care by Staffs CC. No gagging orders for Staffs CC: she’s being featured in an ad campaign on private adoption websites.

The Slogger was a tad surprised to stumble across this shot on the website of kids’ charity magazine Children and Young People Now. After all, Keelie Cooper was removed from a genuinely fractured homelife and placed with another family by Staffordshire Social Services last year. And the Staffs SS – as we all know rather too well – combine very often with the local judiciary to injunct any reporting of its clients. Or its suppliers. Or its cock-ups. Or its…oh never mind, let’s get on with it.

Just take in this gushing propaganda that’s been forced into Keelie’s mouth (my italics):

‘When things got too messy within my own family I turned to my best friend for help and we got the social services involved. At first I wasn’t sure this was a good thing to do as I have heard about a lot of social services messing things up….However, this was not the case with my “new” family and things have worked out fine. I came to understand the support that they can give you, both financially and by having someone to talk to if you feel you are not being treated fairly.’

This is terrific stuff, Staffs: Alistair and Mandy could use some of the talent you’ve clearly got tucked away in the PR department up there.

Now it seems to me (having investigated the case) that on this occasion the County Council did the right thing for Keelie. I understand she wanted to be rehomed with a friend’s family, and they allowed this. How very tolerant of them.

But the hypocritical double standards of this self-defensive publicity drive beggar belief. So while the charity mag itself (a Haymarket publication) does a worthwhile job – and is in no way complicit in this grubby attempt to glorify a derelict and controlling Council – I thought I’d share this shining example of local government honesty with a wider audience.

Amazingly, Staffs care management have still to return my call.