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Sunday, 09 December 2018

Council social services apologise for 'poor standard of care' in two children's cases

Written by Brian Farmer

Council social services bosses have apologised after a High Court judge criticised their handling of two cases involving children.

Mr Justice Keehan complained of "incompetence and serial failings" by staff at Herefordshire Council in the handling of a case involving twins.

Lawyers representing each twin had alleged breaches of the human right to family life and claimed damages.

Council bosses had agreed that each twin should get £20,000.

The judge, who is based in the Family Division of the High Court, also said the "care of and care planning" in a separate case involving two teenage half-sisters had been "woeful".

Council bosses had agreed that the teenagers' human right to family life had been breached.

The judge said he had urged bosses to reach agreement on damages claims with the girls' lawyers.

He had analysed the two cases at recent separate family court hearings in London and has outlined complaints in separate rulings.

Council bosses have apologised to the four youngsters involved in the two cases.

"Herefordshire Council wishes to apologise to the young people for the poor standard of care provided," said a spokesman in a statement.

"The council fully accepts the judgments and the findings of Mr Justice Keehan, and recognises there were failings in the support provided.

"The standard of service fell well below where it should be."

He added: "Since a change in senior management earlier this year, stronger supervision and decision making arrangements have been put in place across children's services."

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