שרון בן חיים מזמין את האבות הגרושים לכנס האירופי של העובדים הסוציאליים באיסטנבול באפריל 2013
איגוד העובדים הסוציאליים האירופי מארח בין התאריכים 16-10 לאפריל 2013 את הכנםהאירופי לעבודה סוציאלית מרחבי אירופה. הכנס יתקיים באיסטנבול במלון שרתון מאסלאק, איסטנבול. מארגני הכנס מזמינים את הציבור ברחבי אירופה (ואותנו בישראל) לשלו מאמרים, אבסטרקטים, ומצגות לסדנאות השונות, והפאנלים עד 30/11/2012. זוהי הזדמנות מעולה להוכיח את סימונה שטיינמץ וחנה סלוצקי בקרב העמיתות האירופיות למקצוע.
Can Social Workers Replace Judges in
Child Access, Custody and Visitation, Israeli Experience
By Sharon Ben Haim, email: email@example.com
Keywords: Paternalistic social work, divorce, visitations, child access, radical feminism
Summary: An ambitious social work plan in Israel to transfer the authority to determine child access and custody disputes away from the Judiciary and into the hands of social workers, as quasi-judges, has resulted in major lawsuits launched in the United States against the heads of the Ministry of Welfare, including the Minister himself, by upset fathers charging the social workers for committing crimes against humanity, and violating the international human rights of fathers and men. In response, social workers are suspending father-child contacts, compelling men to undergo psychiatric evaluations, launching policed complaints against activists for fathers’ rights, drafting laws curtailing fathers’ rights, and issuing the press and media to tarnish the concept of fatherhood. Was the experience worth it?
ABSTRACT: Unlike the rest of the Western world, Israeli family laws adhere to the maternal care presumption, and men have absolutely no rights of visitations with their own children. In cases of divorce, judges automatically grant interim custody to the mother, and the men are assigned a government paid social worker to investigate and make recommendations whether to allow the father child access. The final report is usually, and most likely rubber-stamped by the judge, usually without cross examination and without testimony. The courts have divested their judicial authority in favor of the social worker, who becomes the real judge of the case. The rationale, initially, was the couples need more therapy than adversarial litigation. These ‘coercive therapies” have led to cross country complaints of abuse of powers, invasion of privacy, denial of family rights, encouragement of parental alienation of children, encouragement of fatherlessness, reckless disregard of human rights, and even pure sadism.
In the past 4 years, since the appointment of SW Simona Shteinmetz, as chief social worker for family court relations, an ambitious plan was developed to intensify the powers of social workers at the expense of the Courts. Social workers were sent to training school is woman empowerment, where radical feminism is prevalent, extensive network of prison-style “Contact Centers” for one hour a week visitations was built. Conferences for social workers were conducted inviting the most radical male-bashing professors, who advocate women’s superiority intellectually and mentally, and new guidelines for social workers were developed: to treat every divorce case as a “high conflict”, and to apply interventionist methods in every case that reaches the court.
Intervention by an Israeli social worker can mean many things: compelling the man to surrender to psycho-therapy with the case worker herself (often at the expense of work time), massive referrals of men to Contact Centers (about 25%), massive referrals of men to psychiatric evaluations (at costs of $5,000-$7,500 paid by the parents, and extensive use of evaluators, coordinators, parenting class guidance (again paid by the parents). The process of writing a SW report has become mired with bias against men. Social Workers were instructed to collect every possible source of libel, rumors, and suspicions, from the wife, other sources and the internet, and present it as truth. The social workers also took control of supervision of visitations compliance. Here, instead of enforcing orders against stubborn women who do not comply, the social workers were instructed to act as mediators, condoning every visitation refusal by the woman. All efforts to communicate with Shteinmetz, or to start a dialogue about these measures have failed.
It is argued that in this context, when court refrain from any supervision of the social workers’ powers, and there is no discipline or grievance Board, social workers possess too much powers, and forget that the “clients” are captive clients, forced and compelled against their will to participate in counseling, psychiatric evaluations and other “treatments”. It is also argues that the social workers perpetuate the divorce process due to the lengthy process (a minimum of 4 years to permanent decisions), and that they escalate the parental conflicts since they initially treat the dispute in High conflict tactics. It is also argued that introduction of radical feminism emasculates the men, antagonizes them, ridicules their parental skills, and drives a large percentage (at least 20%) to give up their children completely and permanently; in a manner that violates the ethics of neutrality in social work. It is also argued that the bureaucracy of the social work in Israel is paternalistic and not open to criticism and client participation.
In Israel, the years 2011-2 were marked with a fathers’ revolution against the oppressive, coercive paternalist and counter-productive nature of Ms. Shteinmetz techniques. Those possessing American passports sued her and several others in New Jersey, Wisconsin and indirectly in Texas. Also the Minister of Welfare, Moshe Kahlon, Minister of Justice Yaakov Neeman, Chief Judge Edna Arbel were sued. Petitions to the Supreme Court to impeach her and close the Contact Centers were launched. Another petition to enjoin the practice of Parental Fitness exams was filed. A civil suit against the Central Training School for Government social workers, as well as tort cases against individual social workers were filed with the courts. All this leads to the question, was the Israeli experiment worth it to transform social workers into agent of radical feminist ideology? Are social workers exceeding their boundaries when they become quasi-judges?