Sandria acted for the Father in a case involving several children.
The Mother’s new partner had remained unchecked by Social Services despite several referrals that the children were suffering neglect and possible physical abuse.
Two older children moved out as a family arrangement with a paternal aunt. The two younger children, with a question mark as to whether the Mother’s current partner had sexually abused them, had been moved under an Interim Care Order to live with the paternal grandparents. Sandria’s client, who already had a child from a previous relationship living with him and his partner, was seeking full-time care of these two children.
A number of assessments, including drug and alcohol testing were carried out, with the Mother testing positive for continued misuse.
Sandria’s client’s test results showed no drug use and no evidence of excessive alcohol, and a positive parenting assessment and support from the paternal grandparents was expected.
The Mother wished to fight for the younger children to be returned to her and her partner’s care. She accepted that the older children would not be returned but opposed the existing placement.
The case is ongoing, with a question mark over threshold remaining, which, in the main, the mother has conceded on the neglect issues, but not on the physical abuse. The Judge has indicated this could be simply dealt with as a welfare issue, but awaits further questions to experts to see whether this would affect the emotional wellbeing of the children if there were no findings about what they have alleged. Sandria’s view is that findings should be made, but she wishes for a final decision on welfare to be made without too much delay.