A local authority has abandoned plans to take a child into care after his parents made “significant changes to their lives”.
At a family court hearing in Leeds, Her Honour Judge Lynch heard that the council no longer recommended a care order for the five month-old baby boy. Instead they believed supervision by social workers would be sufficient.
Social workers became concerned back in January this year by the mother’s drinking and the parents’ housing problems and disengagement. They believed domestic violence was also a risk.
In February they applied for a care order. The baby remained with his parents in the meantime, under the watchful eye of the social workers who had intervened.
But as the weeks passed and the case progressed, the family began cooperating with social workers and the mother also managed to stop drinking according to evidence from a monitoring bracelet. Meanwhile, no domestic violence was reported and a more engaged approach to parenting met with approval by the social workers.
Judge Lynch expressed her satisfaction with the progress made, noting that things seemed to have “turned out very well” for the family.
“I have read carefully the social worker’s final statement and her assessment of the parents. She says that there have been no worries at all about the care which [the baby] has received from his parents during the time this court case has been going on. The parents have worked well with the local authority and have clearly made significant changes in their life since their son’s birth.”
She approved the council’s new plan and ruled that the couple should be supervised for a period of 12 months. She stressed that no “unnecessary intrusion” would be involved.
The Judge concluded on an upbeat note:
“So many parents are unable to make the changes their children need, and judges such as me sadly often end up removing children from their families, so for me it has been a delight to deal with this case and for it to end as it has.”
The ruling is here.
Photo by S.Raj via Flickr