Keeping a family together in the family home

Sandria acted for a Grandmother in a case where the Local Authority had issued care proceedings for four children, following neglectful care and appalling home conditions. Both parents had learning difficulties.

The three younger children were placed with their Mother at Sandria’s client’s home, with the eldest child initially with other relatives.

Following a negative assessment of Sandria’s client, and the parents, the Local Authority sought to place children in two SGO placements with other family members, in another part of the country.

Sandria argued that the Local Authority had not done a proper balancing exercise and had not considered that the placement with her client, although very cramped, had worked well. The Grandmother provided extensive and effective support, resulting in noticeable improvements in the children’s presentation and attendance at all health appointments. The family home conditions had improved dramatically, being cleaned and maintained.

Sandria was successful in persuading the Court that all the children should return to the family home (which offered larger accommodation than the grandmother’s home) with her client living with the family and helping and supporting with care of the children.