For our fifteenth Voice of the Child podcast we look at how Fabricated Or Induced Illness allegations are investigated by child protection professionals and the impact of those investigations on parents who are innocent, and their children.

Taliah Drayak’s case was reported on by the BBC last year, after she was accused of harming her daughter. The charges against her were later dropped, but the experience has led her to campaign for changes in how child protection bodies diagnose Fabricated Or Induced Illness (FII), which is also sometimes called Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. She talks about her experience, and how it affected her daughter.

Tracey Norton is a volunteer at Legal Action for Women, with a special interest in FII and what she believes is an alarming rise in medical child abuse allegations by councils across the country. Tracey explains that the increase may be due to local authority budget cuts providing a powerful incentive to shift costly support plans away from councils.

Both women are calling for an independent inquiry into FII and the surrounding child protection practices around the syndrome.

You can listen to the podcast here.

Many thanks to Taliah and Tracey, and to Professor Andy Bilson, who we consulted for this podcast.

The Voice of the Child is now available on iTunes.


Further Information

‘I was suspected of causing my child’s illness’ – Taliah’s Story

Fabricated or Induced Illness – Professor Bilson’s website

For debate: Forty years of fabricated or induced illness (FII): where next for paediatricians? Paper 2: Management of perplexing presentations including FII

Assessment and management of adults and children in cases of fabricated or
induced illness (FII) – Updated March 2020