A Family Court judge in East London has ordered the removal of six children from their parents’ care.
The family lived a transient life and came to the attention of several local authorities due to the mother’s depression and the father’s “personality disorder and tendency to aggressive behaviour”. Additionally, there had been a history of drug abuse and domestic violence between the parents.
The London Borough of Croydon applied to have the children taken away because “someone must initiate proceedings in relation to this family”. They claimed that the children must be taken away from their mother and father and placed in a safe place on an interim basis before more permanent arrangements could be made.
One case of domestic violence cited by the local authority took place in June. The father allegedly strangled the mother and lifted her off the ground by her neck before attacking her with a children’s buggy. The incident was witnessed by a member of the public who called the police.
Despite such violence, the mother developed a pattern of leaving and then reconciling with the father. As a result, the children were “regularly caught up in the conflict between the parents”.
In her judgment, Judge Carol Atkinson declared that the children’s welfare was paramount in her decision. She said that removing the children would cause considerable disruption to their lives. This would only increase as the local authority intended to initially place the six of them in three separate foster placements and “such a large sibling group is unlikely to be able to be placed together” permanently, she added.
Despite these considerations, the judge said that “the evidence suggests that [the children] will be at risk of significant harm if in the care of their parents”. Therefore, she approved the local authority’s application for interim care orders.
To read London Borough of Croydon v LN (mother) & Ors, click here.