A Family Court judge has ordered the temporary removal of a six year-old boy from his mother’s care.
The local authority had applied for a care order based on concerns for the child’s “emotional welfare”. A social worker assigned to assess the family was worried about how the boy, ‘RL’, behaved when he was in his mother’s care and reported that he was violent towards her. This left her with several bruises.
A consulting doctor told the court that the boy’s behaviour was probably not helped by the fact that the mother would shout at and threaten him when she tried to enforce some discipline, although she denied ever making any threats. She also denied any suggestion that she had “resorted to hitting or slapping him”.
RL’s worsening behaviour led to one-on-one sessions with a nursery nurse. However, in this environment, RL was described as “a lovely, polite little boy”. He was also “cooperative and calm” when he was around his elder brother, away from the mother.
Both the local authority and RL’s court-appointed guardian believed that it was in the child’s best interests to be taken from his mother’s care. At a court in Newcastle, Her Honour Judge Moir said RL was her “paramount concern” in this case.
She ruled that the best option was for the local authority to be granted an interim care order. This would allow them to “take steps to place RL in circumstances which are safe and to enable a psychological assessment” before a final hearing about his future care is held. She added that it would up to the local authority to decide how often the mother and her child would see each other in that time because “it is not clear how RL is going to react to being moved from his mother’s care and from his home”.
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Photo of Newcastle by 96tommy via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.