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England and Wales Family Court Decisions (other Judges)
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales Family Court Decisions (other Judges) >> X (care and placement orders), Re  EWFC B25 (11 May 2018)
Cite as:  EWFC B25
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B e f o r e :
|A COUNTY COUNCIL||Applicant|
|(acting by her children's guardian)||Second Respondent|
Mr Paul Froud instructed by Brethertons for the First Respondent mother
Ms Jennifer Kotilaine instructed by Oxford Law Group for the child
Crown Copyright ©
Introduction and background
'… adoption of a child against her parents' wishes should only be contemplated as a last resort – when all else fails. Although the child's interests in an adoption case are 'paramount' (in the UK legislation and under article 21 of UNCRC) a court must never lose sight of the fact that those interests include being brought up by her natural family, ideally her natural parents, or at least one of them.'
'Intervention in the family must be proportionate, but the aim should be to reunite the family where the circumstances enable that, and the effort should be devoted towards that end. Cutting off all contact and ending the relationship between the child and their family is only justified by the overriding necessity of the interests of the child.'
a) X's mother has neglected her basic needs. X was seen on occasions to be grubby and unwashed, the home conditions were poor, she was exposed to passive smoking (for example there is a record from the police that the mother was asked to stop smoking when X was sitting on her lap and refused). X's diet was unhealthy and irregular, and when X first went into care her vocabulary was limited to around two words.
b) X has been exposed to her mother's long-standing drug and alcohol abuse. The mother frankly admitted in Court that while she was about to start a treatment programme at the moment she currently takes heroin daily and cocaine weekly;
c) M has not shown any insight into the concerns raised by professionals and denies or minimises them. She has not engaged with the parenting assessment during these proceedings;
d) Between being evicted from the family home on 4th August 2017 and being removed under the EPO on 1st November 2017 X was at risk of significant harm in her mother's care as she tried to establish a new life for herself in Wales. In particular:
- She was moved to a lot of different places to stay in an unplanned and haphazard way, some of these addresses were known to the police to be related to criminal offending and drug misuse;
- X was out with the mother late at night and in the early hours of the morning. M attempted to hitch-hike with X. X had no routine, and not enough food and clean clothes;
- On 27th to 28th October the mother stayed with a risky individual even though she had been warned by social services that staying with him was not safe for X. She and X were found hiding in a wardrobe by the police at 12.15 a.m.;
- She failed to turn up to contacts with social services so that they could check on X's welfare;
- She used illegal drugs while X was in her care.
Her Honour Judge Joanna Vincent
11th May 2018
Family Court at Oxford