Ronald acted for a mother in a five-day care case involving chronic neglect and emotional abuse. There had been a long history of neglect involving multiple children. The Local Authority had conducted all the possible assessments of the mother. In the face of reality the mother denied that she had been neglected the children and sought an independent assessment of her parenting capabilities.
Ronald’s considered advice to his client was that that her preferred course would not be helpful as in all probability the new assessment would only confirm the Local Authority’s position. He was able to persuade his client to accept this, and moreover to agree that it would be better to cooperate with the Local Authority for the rest of the proceedings.
This approach, though pragmatic, ultimately could not result in the children being reunited to her care in this instance. However she was credited by the court and all the other parties in the case for the improvements she had made. Looking forward, this result means that with any subsequent children the Local Authority would not necessarily seek to remove them from her care.