From the Case Files

At the end of every News Views (or Cuttings, as the column used to be known), as a little reward for those who have persevered that far, we have published howlers mostly culled from the files of Social Services Departments and other child welfare agencies. We can guarantee that they are all genuine, because we found them, but we have edited them a little, for example to ensure the anonymity of the clients and the authors.

The item started after we had been going for three years, and we have missed an occasional issue when we had nothing to hand. Here we have put them together for the benefit of those who like condensed humour, and we’ve added a few we’ve not published before. (If you enjoy jokes in this vein, try googling ‘Viola jokes’.)

36 (From a children’s home log after some boys had run away)
The boys gave themselves up to the Police. Now safely tucked up in bed. It appears that the phenomenon of rain was too much to surmount, being clothed only in pyjamas. Where has the Bulldog breed gone?
Obviously the boys need to be toughened up so that they can abscond successfully.


38 (Report from a councillor visiting a children’s home)
The recent demolition programme has reduced the amount of decorating required.
Put the kids in tents and you’ll have no heating bills either.

39 (Social worker about an adolescent client)
She hurled a terrain of abuse at me.
Terrine, yes. Tureen, if she was very strong. But terrain? – a volcanic performance.

Minutes of the Small Heads of Homes Meeting
A special interest group for the vertically challenged or microcephalic officers in charge?

Mrs B was hit by the flue and looked quite poorly.
The case of the collapsing chimney?

She has also taken a few over dozes.
Presumably rather more than the occasional Sunday lie-in.

The abused children have had their lives scared for ever.
Too true.

45 (Note from social worker to herself as an aide memoir)
Does Peter need to strengthen his mussels?
Re-invigorating your bivalves is vital.


47 (Seen in an advert in the Hexham Courant)
The home requires day and night care assistants full or part-time to work in a home for people with earning disabilities.
They take anyone off the dole – as staff or residents.

She constantly attempted to procoke me.
A case of the client getting up the social worker’s nose by snorting?

49 (From a correspondent)
The GSCC are still in the early days of registering workers and it will be some time before there is a fully regulated service, therefore there will be a two-tear system, which in my view is bound to fail.
Really sad.

My colleague is a liability and Health and Safety expert.
From a letter sent by an expert in Capital?

His arms were adjourned with tattoos.
That must have put people off.

Grandfather is aware that [his grand-daughter] was placed with him on a long-term basis, but, of course, no caste-iron guarantees have been made about her future.
A placement with an Indian washerwoman being considered?

Referral: Suspected sexual abuse of S. and C. by Dr F. of the R.C. Hospital.
He only examined them, but read it another way and he should have been arrested.

54 (From the radio)
A spokesman for the Association of Cheese Police Officers said …
Presumably a Big Cheese.

55 (About a sexual abuser)
S. kept coming to the Children’s Home and praying upon me.
Another example of abuse by a priest?

Minuets of the meetings were seen…
But no cha-cha-chas?

Her boyfriend was a patty crook.
Presumably Tom, Tom, the Piper’s son, who stole some pies and away did run? Or Sweeney Todd the Barber, perhaps : didn’t he have a finger in the pie business?

The boys wore distinctive cloths on arrival.
Loincloths, or those things which tennis players tie round their heads to keep the sweat out of their eyes?

Mrs W suffers from indigenous depression. This started … when she returned from South Africa.
The saddening impact of experiencing the weather of her native land after all those sunny skies?

The 1960s was a time full of reforming seal.
Phocas come to life again? (If you don’t get this one, ask a Classics scholar.)

60 (From an account about a children’s home)
Just then there was the sound of shattering glass in the window in the dinning room at the front of the house.
Obviously the right room to make a noise in.

61 (From an Environmental Health inspection of a residential home)
The sceptic tank and the fat trap have been looked into, and Mr Jones has the matter in hand.
Lucky Mr Jones.


63 (From a job application)
Dear Sir, I would like to apply for the potion of the Chief Executive…..
Couldn’t he get it through one of those Viagra adverts that flood the internet?

64 (From a letter sent by a Minister’s PA)
I am trying to set up a meeting with yourself and a few other reprehensives here in London to discuss training and support for staff who work in Children’s Residential Care sector.
So that’s what the Minister thinks of professionals.

65 (From a policy insuring adventure activities for children)
Dingy and Small Craft
Cheaper to insure than large brightly-painted ones?

66 (From a supermarket till roll – as we’d run out of case files howlers)
Loose orang
A new line at Asda

67 (From a job application submitted by a female candidate)
I am a member of a web chap room….
Tell us more.

68 (School Notice)
And where will the game for gentle wimps be played?

The Trust works with those suffering from metal disorders…..
Like Evel Knievel?

[The Social Worker] said that, with regard to X’s sexual activities, he had mounting problems.
We can’t imagine what he might mean. Needing horse-riding lessons perhaps?

If she does abscond, try to impress on her the need for protective clothing / footwear…
And why not run after her with a packet of sandwiches and her bus fare for the journey as well?

The residential and field social workers had duel roles….

He used to look up teachers’ skirts. At this point he became statemented.
So that’s how to speed up statementing.

The little boy was in the kitchen with his mother running about with a T-shirt and his shoes and socks on.
She must have had small feet.

He showed no difficulty in being the mildly discipling parent when necessary.
Father gathering his flock gently?

The house was cold – there was no eating.
No inner warmth.


Materially there is the bear minimum in the home.
Only a very tiny teddy?

The catering was an “add-hock” arrangement.
Every dish had a dash of wine in it.

This man was thought to be a heroine addict.
He read nothing but the autobiographies of Mary Seacole, Grace Darling and Madame Curie.

Her pregnancy went full term without anti-natal care.
Couldn’t stop the baby coming without it?

This evidence was clearly heresy, and therefore not admissable to the Court.
No Canon Law in the Juvenile Court.

Sarah has reached a plato in her rehabilitation.
An ideal state?

The minuets were approved.
But not the concerti?

She was resolved to exercise her demons.
So she took them to the gym?

She looks very fit and quite fat in the face – I do hope she is not pregnant.
A modern equivalent of the birth of the goddess Athene, who sprang fully armed from the head of Zeus?

The Principal Officer telephoned about paying for Shaun’s placement at Barbados.
Out of country as well as out of county? Amazing what a difference one letter makes.

They kneed the bread mixture before making it into rolls.
Then they treed the grapes?

As you will be aware, Sarah has been in the care of this Department since her mother was admitted to Holloway under a Care Order.
What a difference word order makes.

Mr X has a small brown bear with a big moustache and spectacles.
Not Winnie the Pooh or Paddington then?

The extreme stress in the family was caused by overcrowding, as there were ten children. This was something the parents had no control over.
A little talk about birds and bees required? – for the Social Worker too?

92 (Action Points following a Case Conference)
5 Social Worker to pursue a washing machine.
That would be worth watching; is running a competence taught on DipSW these days?

She was sexually assaulted by her mother’s Cohabite.
And what about the Perizzites, Jebusites and Amalekites?

Mrs S. has a urinary track infection.
Made hurdling embarrassing?

95 (From recently computerised medical notes)
Lloyd George culled and summarised.
That’ll teach him for knowing my mother.

….. a breech of confidentiality….
Covering a private?

Upstairs was no better, with faces smeared on the toilet walls.
Had Tracy Emin to stay then?

There was an incident with myself when he overstepped the mark – he made an improper sexual suggestion.
If only he had made a proper sexual suggestion.

Her childhood was marred by martial disharmony.
The eternal Battle of the Sexes.

He had a pear of glasses to ware at home…..
….. And a social worker who couldn’t spell.

Anthony has filled in a hosing application form.
Special permission to do the lawns during a sprinkler ban?

The Child Protection Conference made the decision that the child would be placed on the Registrar at birth.
Surely the Registrar would have wanted the baby washed first?

Teacher : improving on Ritalin.
No doubt it helps to diminish stress till Friday afternoon.

The baby’s head circumference was less than 0.4cm.
And the Social Worker’s IQ was 0.96?

The Consultant Paediatrician said she was not aware of any medical condition, which could explain his injuries.
Eats, shoots and leaves? Here we go again! A Paediatrician who is unaware of any medical condition? What did they teach her at medical school? And how did she injure him?

I took her to the park and we saw some Dears and Horses.
Old ladies riding?

Daniel has yet to be registered with the local dentist, but her teeth seem fine.
A good advert for her profession.

(Letter from Consultant)
When the baby was in hospital last year, we undertook some bleeding investigations.
Even the Consultants speak Estuary now.

If you have examples which you can vouch for, please send them in.

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