Keeping a family together with appropriate support

Sandria represented the Father in a case involving five children. The two elder children were the Father’s by a wife who died, and he had cared for them as a single parent for three years. He subsequently had three further children with his current partner. Both parents have learning difficulties.

The youngest child had sustained a fractured skull as a young baby, which was discovered at a routine MRI scan in relation to enlarged ventricles from birth. It was identified as a Non-Accidental Injury, but with no conclusion as to when or who by, and both parents denied knowledge or culpability.

All five children were removed and placed in foster care, and the LA then identified areas of neglect in the presentation of the children and lack of stimulation.

Threshold was established but it was accepted that whilst the injury had occurred whilst in the care of the parents, no person could be identified as deliberately causing or knowing how or when the injury actually occurred. It was also accepted that there were areas regarding the care and stimulation of the children in which support and guidance were required.

It was agreed that the children should be returned to the parents’ care in a staged rehabilitation process under a Supervision Order with a high level of a support package put in place, and one to one work with the parents to improve areas of stimulation, boundaries and parenting skills.