Foster parent wins injunction against local authority’s planned removal of child

Family|News|February 15th 2013

In a brand new case, the High Court has granted an injunction to an adopter to prevent the local authority removing a child from her care.

The case – RCW v A Local Authority – concerned a child who was abandoned shortly after birth. She was taken into local authority care and then placed with the woman, referred to as ‘RCW’ in court documents.

The child quickly bonded with her new foster carer. In the words of Mr Justice Cobb:

“The placement appears on all accounts to have been an extremely successful one.”

Unfortunately RCW was diagnosed with a brain tumour early last month. Ten weeks after the initial placement, RCW became eligible to make a formal application for adoption, under the Adoption and Children Act 2002, but on the very same day she was admitted to hospital for emergency surgery.

As a result of the surgery, the woman lost her sight although it has not yet known whether or not the loss will be permanent. On the day that she was discharged from hospital, RCW was assessed by a social worker and shortly afterwards told that the child would be removed from her care.

RCW then applied for the injunction, doing so under section 7 of the Human Rights Act 1998. This allows proceedings to be brought against public authorities that have acted, or plan to act, in ways defined as unlawful by the act.

RCW claimed, amongst other things, that she had not been involved in any of the decisions made by the local authority; that she had made proper arrangement for the child’s care; and that taking the child from her care would breach her – and the child’s – rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which requires respect for “private and family life”.

Describing the case as “unusual and troubling”, Mr Justice Cobb said the local authority had not given RCW a fair opportunity to address its concerns and said it had shown “shown a worrying lack of enquiry into the condition or the potential for good care offered by a visually impaired parent”.

Photo by USCPSC via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

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  1. vob says:

    It is ” troubling ” that many of today’s so called ”Social Workers” treat children as transportable to ”strangers” citing : it is in their ”best interest” I know many SW have not attained particular high levels of education. Surely though they should understand ”attachment” the severing of it causes ”long term damage”. SW have too much ” Power” Where is the ”humanity” towards the carer and the child.

  2. Julie geldart says:

    Social workers care little about children and more about meetings and ticking the right boxes. I’m a local authority foster career. I have 2 children placed with me. One I’ve had since being discharged from hospital 3 weeks old neonatal abstinence syndrome. I spent every day at hospital with him.he’s now 9 months old. I adore him and he’s bonded with my husband myself and the whole services spoke to us about adopting him months ago, now they’re saying it’s not their policy. We have a solicitor but social services are removing him next week. They really don’t care. They’re moving him to new foster carers then moving him again to adoptive family.

  3. MHC says:

    The Child Abuse and Adduction Industry is highly lucrative and that it is cruel callous and corrupt is demonstrated by the eagerness that Social Workers seize children on the flimsiest of evidence.
    That it is a self perpetuating Industry is also demonstrated by the fact that those in care are “…. 66 times more likely to have children of their own who will need public care” as quoted by the Child Minister, put more bluntly 66 times more likely for their children to be abducted!

  4. vob says:

    Julie, stop ‘fostering’! they don’t care about you and your husbands feelings. They don’t care about many of the ‘birth’ parents feelings when they steal children from them. Some removals may be justified many are not ! You may have been given some embellished report about the ones that are with you now. By ‘fostering’ they are using such
    as yourself to ‘promote ‘forced adoption’ it is inhumane

  5. Lee Thomas says:

    Hi we currently have 2 children, a 3 just left us. The other two are leaving tomorrow against our better judgement. They say the baby hadn’t lost enough weight, the boy has. Had the boy for nearly a year his sister for 5 months. We also took in a 6 year old for 4 months to help the SS. Now we are losing both and we want to stop them removing them. We would adopt. Is there anything we can do tomorrow to stop them. We haven’t been included, it was busy summer holidays but now back to routine. They think my wife can’t cope, but they haven’t provided any respite, it’s so wrong. Wife feels like failure but loves them so much.

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