Local Authority Intervention and Reunification – Child Protection Case

Local Authority Intervention and Reunification - Child Protection Case
Case study by: Daniel Maiden Updated: In: Child Care

Child Protection Case Summary

Solicitor Daniel Maiden achieved a positive outcome in a complex child protection case involving a child who had suffered non-accidental injuries. The following case involves a thorough investigation and consideration of all parties’ perspectives with the final decision ensuring K’s safety and well-being.

Initial Concerns and Intervention by Local Authority

The Local Authority issued Care Proceedings in respect to the child (K) who was aged 7 months at the time of issue. The Local Authority issued proceedings in connection to K because K presented at Hospital with two Non-accidental Injuries. These included a fracture to K’s right humerus and a 3cm bruise to the inside of K’s upper left harm.

At the initial hearing the court made an interim care order for K in favour of the Local Authority with a care plan for him to remain in his mother’s care at a residential placement.

Investigating and Assessing the Situation

At a subsequent hearing the court directed the instruction of an independent expert paediatric radiologist and expert general paediatrician to consider the two non-accidental injuries and the parents explanations for the injuries. Additionally, the court also ordered for the father to join the residential assessment.

The residential assessment confirmed that the parents care of K was better than good enough and they had no concerns about either parents’ ability to care for K solely or jointly.

However, the experts concluded that the two injuries sustained by K were non-accidental injuries. During a meeting regarding K the experts the expert’s opinions did not change.

Proposed Separation Following Residential Assessment

At a further hearing following the conclusion of the residential assessment, the Local Authority sought to move the mother and K into a mother and baby placement. However, they did not agree to the father joining the proposed placement and sought to separate K from their father.

The father opposed the proposed change in placement of K as the Local Authority still sought to separate Father from K and change K’s placement. This change was supported by K’s Guardian.

The court directed that the family remain in the residential placement under s38(6) Children Act 1989 for the purpose of further assessment and until further order of the court.

The Local Authority Conducts a Resolution Style Assessment

The Local Authority were ordered to undertake a resolution style assessment of the parents and K to look at how K could live with their parents in the community and away from a Residential Placement in light of the two Non-accidental Injuries K sustained.

After the conclusion of the resolution style assessment, it was recommended that the parents could transition with K into the community and away from the residential placement. The residential placement also confirmed that they had no concerns with the parents care of K and noted that it was better than good enough.

The Local Authority recommended that the matter should be concluded with a 12 month Supervision Order in their favour and with a Child in Need Plan for K. This was agreed by both parents but was opposed by K’s Guardian. K’s Guardian sought for the Court to make a Care Order with a plan that K should remain with his parents.

Final Hearing and Child Protection Case Outcome

The matter was listed for a contested Final Hearing whereby after hearing from the Local Authority, parents and the Guardian, the court made a final 12-month Supervision Order. The court during the proceedings did not consider it necessary nor proportionate to hold a Finding of Fact hearing into whether the parents caused the two non-accidental Injuries to K. This was on the basis that the parents care of K was better than good enough and was disproportionate.

The client left a five star review following the conclusion of the proceedings: “Such a pleasure to be a client of Dan, he made my case seem like a breeze, with excellent Legal knowledge and a wealth of experience under his belt. Trust me you are in good hands!

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All advice is correct at time of publication.