‘Unprofessional’ social workers criticised by High Court judge

Children|July 30th 2015

A High Court judge has criticised social workers for the way they treated a father fighting to prevent his child’s adoption.

At the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Ms Justice Russell called the “unprofessional attempts” by workers at Brighton and Hove City Council to build a case against the father “reprehensible”.

She said that their reliance on a parenting assessment which was “clearly out of date” called into question “the validity and substance of any view expressed by the social workers”.  The assessment, which the judge said could “only be described as psychobabble”, claimed that the father of four was unable to care for his children because he could not deal with his own past abuse.

These criticisms came during a hearing to determine if the man’s two year-old daughter should be returned to his care to be with her three siblings or if she should be adopted. In 2013, a placement order was made following concerns about the father’s ability to look after four children. Their mother had already been ruled out as a full-time carer as she suffered from mental health problems.

The girl was subsequently placed with another family for 16 months before the Court of Appeal overturned the order.

Ms Justice Russell said that the concerns about the father’s ability to cope were “not supported by any evidence from the school or the observations of independent observers” and seemed to ignore the fact that he had been “successfully parenting three children on his own”.

The judge ruled that the child should be returned to the care of her father. As a result of the social workers’ behaviour throughout the proceedings, “there can be little wonder if the father finds it hard to trust the local authority and work with them from time to time”, she added.

To read Re W (Adoption- Reunification), click here.

Author: Stowe Family Law

Comments(7)

  1. Pauline says:

    It’s good that the Judge has seen sense. Too many fathers seem to be discriminated against in the family courts so it is good that justice was served in this case. Social Services in Brighton and Hove should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for being so obstructive. These agencies should be less biased and more professional.

  2. stitchedup says:

    Institutional bias exists against men/fathers across all areas of family and indeed criminal justice. It starts at the social services/agency level and propagates throughout the the entire system including cafcas, family courts, cps, dpp, moj and indeed the probation service. When you have feminist political organisations like women’s aid giving domestic abuse training to local authority social services it’s hardly surprising that this bias propagates it’s way through the system. Add to that a left wing dpp, who spent most of his time in bed with women’s aid you have a recipe for disaster.

  3. Alan says:

    This story is only being told because it has is has reached the Court of Appeal. For the two years previous all reporting rights will have been stifled by the secretive Family Court System. There are thousands of cases where the outcome is grim. Lying, cheating Social Workers and Cafcas Officers are seldom brought to task so, this is a good result for the father and his Legal Team!

  4. ‘Unprofessional’ social workers criticised by High Court judge | says:

    […] A High Court judge has criticised social workers for the way they treated a father fighting to prevent his child’s adoption. At the Royal Courts of Justice in London, Ms Justice Russell called the “unprofessional attempts” by workers at Brighton and Hove City Council to build a case against the father “reprehensible”. Read more on http://www.marilynstowe.co.uk […]

  5. Vivaldi says:

    Thats also The High Court Judge Alison Russell:
    dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3071048/Gagging-mother-forced-hand-baby-daughter-gay-dad.html

  6. darren says:

    im 50 years old and fighting for my grandson and they say i cant protecting him from emotional harm i have 6 children of my own and 5 of them have all done well in life i am a good parent but they fighting me to adopt him off social services have not got no evidence to prove there aligations that i cant provide him the care he needs i made myself a party to the hearing and doin my best to challenge them its sickening that they can get away with this

  7. ‘Unprofessional’ social workers criticised by High Court judge – Marilyn Stowe Blog | the story of my life says:

    […] https://www.stowefamilylaw.co.uk/2015/07/30/unprofessional-social-workers-criticised-by-high-court-judg… […]

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