Sandria represented a Mother where the Local Authority sought to remove a child into Foster Care. The Mother had appeared defensive and uncooperative at meetings, and had a poor relationship with the Social Worker.
Sandria’s understanding and non-judgmental approach enabled her to build a trusting relationship with her client. During a positive conference with the Mother she was able to fully explain the situation and possible outcomes her, enabling her to feel that her voice was heard. Sandria also engaged with other family members in a frank and honest discussion.
Through working sensitively with the Mother, Sandria was able to persuade the Local Authority that her client’s mental health problems (which included being bi-polar) could account for her poor engagement with the Local Authority. She argued that Mother’s care of the child was basically good, and that, despite poor choices of partners and friendships, there were no concerns about the child’s physical wellbeing.
Sandria was able to gain the Guardian’s support for a proposition that the Mother and child should go into a Mother and Baby placement.
She successfully argued that the Local Authority did not meet the high hurdle required for removal, and with support from the Guardian got agreement for the Local Authority to provide a mother and baby foster care placement, where further assessments will be carried out. She further managed to secure the Mother’s attendance full-time within the current family placement, so that she could look after her child until an appropriate placement can be found. Sandria also ensured that appropriate mental health support was put in place.