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Monday, 04 December 2017

Court places care of disabled child with council following 'impasse' with social workers

Written by Brian Farmer

A couple have lost a family court fight over the care of a disabled grandchild they had looked after since she was a baby after a dispute with social workers.

Social services staff said the 11-year-old girl was at risk of significant harm if she stayed with her grandparents, and a family court judge has ruled she should go into council care.

Judge Elizabeth Williscroft concluded that the task of caring for the girl, who has "complex health needs", had become "just too much" for the couple.

She decided social services staff should decide where the youngster lives.

The judge outlined her conclusions in a written ruling published following a private family court hearing in Wolverhampton.

She described the case as a "tragedy" and said an "impasse" had developed between the couple and social services professionals.

The judge said the family could not be identified and has not named the council.

She said the girl had been placed with her grandparents as a baby because her parents could not care for her safely.

The couple said they were not treated as "equals" by social workers and complained of a "lack of respect".

But Judge Williscroft made a series of findings against the couple and listed a range of concerns.

She said their "difficult and confrontational relationship with professionals" had "undermined the care that the child should receive".

"I think the task of care has now become one that is just too much," said the judge.

"Social services should determine where she lives.

"I consider the capacity of grandparents to care for her has become limited."

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