Working with cultural differences to keep a family together

Sandria acted for a Mother in a case where the Local Authority had removed two children from her care, alleging neglect and failure to thrive with the youngest child, as well as the family living in unsuitable and overcrowded conditions.

Sandria was able to ensure that the Mother and children’s cultural differences were recognised, and proper interpretation of conversations, and that documents properly recorded. In addition, she managed to get the Mother and children placed together in a foster care situation. In this situation, Sandria’s client was able to establish that she has ability to care appropriately for the children. Careful monitoring of the failure to thrive demonstrated it was not through any form of neglect, and a Social Worker is now working alongside the Mother closely and communicating well.

As a result, the children, together with the Mother were able to be rehabilitated to their home with the grandparents. A supervision order was put in place whereby the Local Authority would assist by providing English lessons, finding alternative, more appropriate accommodation and ensuring that all professional and medical advice was properly co-ordinated.

This is an example of an extremely successful case where Sandria was able to persuade the Local Authority to take on board and act on information about cultural differences. Their agreement to the use of the best and most appropriate interpreter was also extremely beneficial. Sandria’s ability to develop a good, close relationship with the Mother enabled her to assist her client without appearing to be a threat, which was a major factor in the positive outcome of this case.