Special guardian ‘spent allowance on drugs and alcohol’

Children|February 16th 2016

A seven month old baby has been returned to foster care after placement with family members which lasted just two weeks.

The child, ‘R’, had been in care since his birth. Later the same year, social workers arranged a ‘special guardianship’ placement with his maternal aunt and her husband. The placement officially began on 15 September last year, following two preliminary months, but it was brought to an abrupt end on 1 October when the boy was returned to the foster carers who had previously looked after him. The aunt and uncle had neglected the unnamed child, social workers found, and the uncle had even used part of special guardianship allowance they received from the council to buy drugs and alcohol, and also to gamble.

The latter behaviour led to the breakdown of the couple’s marriage. The aunt then asked the local authority to take R back into foster care, Community Care reports.

At a placement hearing, held to authorise the toddler’s return to foster care, a judge noted:

“… it was clear that R had suffered neglect in the care of his maternal uncle and aunt. He was though fortunate in being able to return to his original foster placement and appears to have recovered from the neglect he had suffered.”

R’s parents were not considered suitable carers. His father had a conviction for grievous bodily harm and had injured a child on another occasion. The mother, meanwhile, struggled to show “empathy and compassion” and was prone to forming “negative personal relationships”, following neglect and abuse during her own childhood. She had not, noted the Judge, received any support or therapy to aid in her own recovery.

Image by Chris Goldberg via Flickr

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