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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) >> Wiltshire Coucil v R & Ors  EWFC B76 (30 April 2014)
Cite as:  EWFC B76
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SITTING AT SWINDON
B e f o r e :
|Proceedings under the Children Act 1989 and|
|The Adoption and Children Act 2002
|- and -|
|(1) R, the Respondent mother|
|(2) H, the Respondent father|
|(3) S & L, Children, by their Children's Guardian||Respondents|
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MISS ITEN, instructed by Forrester Sylvester Mackett, appeared on behalf of the Respondent Mother
MR JOSTY, instructed by Wansbroughs Solicitors, appeared on behalf of the Respondent Father
MR MORADIFAR, instructed by Stone King Solicitors, appeared on behalf of the Children, by their Children's Guardian.
Crown Copyright ©
"physical harm through exposure to the mother's violent partners, emotional harm through exposure to the mother's volatile behaviours, neglect of basic needs and failure of the mother to prioritise the child's needs, failure of the mother to engage with professionals or otherwise address concerns, and exposure to the mother's substance misuse".
"R does not show signs of any notable personality difficulties but does show some traits that are dependent and avoidant and she may have shown some antisocial traits in the past. She does not show any mental health difficulties at present and has no severe personality or clinical problems."
"I do consider that R has the potential to make the changes required but she is a young parent who has not had the level of support that she has required, has been overwhelmed by the demands of early motherhood, appears to have developed postnatal depression as a result but now seems to be in a position to demonstrate her ability to look after her daughter, if given the opportunity to do so. She does not have major personality problems, mental ill-health, notable drug or alcohol problems and, although she has been in a domestically abusive relationship, she did take steps to remove herself from it when her baby's wellbeing was threatened. She does have some psychological issues to overcome which I consider she will be able to do so with appropriate input."
"alongside R's positive care of the children it also seemed evident that R was starting to work openly with the local authority".
"Obviously the children having been removed from my care was affecting my mental state drastically. It might help to know whether he wished to have any involvement in the proceedings."
By that stage, DNA results had confirmed that the children were full siblings.
"and I really didn't want him involved in the children's lives because of his previous behaviour".
She goes on to say,
"H C did assault me on that evening. I rang the police straightaway and have made two statements to the police who have supported me. I am in contact with my domestic violence worker and have pressed charges against H."
H was convicted of that assault in January. He pleaded guilty to the offence and is now subject to a community order.
"R has undergone assessment and monitoring on a continued basis since S was a newborn baby. This has included within the previous care proceedings relating to S a community-based parenting assessment in two parts and a psychological assessment by Madeline Dunham".
She notes that no further assessments were ordered during these proceedings.
"I would suggest that whilst R could meet the children's day-to-day needs she cannot ensure the continued provision of a safe and stable home environment as a result of her own mental health needs, inability to acknowledge and respond to risk and inability to work openly with professionals. R has been identified as telling multiple mistruths to the local authority and this prevents accurate risk assessment."
"Unfortunately these actions place her children at risk of harm. In order for R to keep her children safe, she needs to fully engage with the mental health support available to her. It seems apparent that she has unresolved issues from her own childhood which she needs to address. For example, on 3rd January 2014, R identified that she has and has always had low self-esteem and a tendency to think positively of people when she needs to be more cautious".
The social worker identified that these characteristics make R and her children vulnerable. She concluded that unfortunately while a DBT course may benefit R greatly, completion of that would not now be within S's or L's timeframes.
"I've made mistakes that mean that it hasn't been the case on occasion but I'm determined and willing for my children..." Then she added this at the end, "…as I know, they haven't witnessed domestic violence and were happy at home".
That to my mind showed a significant lack in her understanding, which prevails, where she simply says,
"It's okay because they didn't witness domestic violence."