Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

Judge awards child £5K for human rights breach

Family judge awards child £5k after his human rights were breached while in local authority care

A 10-year-old boy whose human rights were breached while he was in local authority care has been awarded £5,000 in damages.

A three-year delay by Worcestershire Council in revoking a placement order meant the child was unable to develop a relationship with his half siblings.

Child B was made the subject of a care order and placement order when he was just under six years old. Judge Rundell also authorised the local authority to withhold contact between mother and son.

The local authority’s view was that Child B should be placed for adoption. But given his behavioural difficulties a more realistic option was long term foster care.

In February 2012 the appropriate local authority panel formally agreed the change of plan to long-term foster care and his mother was informed of his changed status.

Judge Rundell said: “At that stage the local authority ought to have sought to revoke the placement order. Had they done so, the matter would have returned to court, a Guardian (in all probability the same Guardian who acted for B in the care proceedings) would have been appointed to protect his interests. His mother would have had the opportunity, if she was so minded, to seek contact with him.”

However, this did not happen and a succession of seven Looked After Children reviews took place before, in February 2015, the local authority presented an application for revocation. During the course of that three-year period the Independent Reviewing Officer ("IRO") took no adequate action to progress the matter.

The Judge added that the severity and length of the breach of human rights and the impact of the breach on the child were the most important factors.

“He lost the opportunity, during 2012 to 2015, to begin to form a relationship with them [his half siblings}. Again, who knows what might have occurred? However, there must, at least, have been a chance that he might have begun to develop a fulfilling sibling relationship with at least one of them; the three-year delay may well have damaged that prospect,” said Judge Rundell.

He decided to award Child B damages of £5,000 which he said was “just and appropriate” and ordered the local authority and IRO service to cover the costs of the care proceedings.

Knowledge & Resources

Keep abreast of the latest news in the children's services sector.

Fears raised over impartiality of Ofsted safeguarding review in schools

13/05/2021

Concerns have been raised about the impartiality of Ofsted’s review into safeguarding in schools and colleges.

The government asked Ofsted to review safeguarding policies in schools and colleges after thousands of children and young people posted anonymously on the Everyone’s Invited website about sexual abuse in schools – including some posts from children as young [...]

Read Full Story

How social workers became the 5th emergency service during lockdown

12/05/2021

Interview with our experienced and highly respected Independent Social Worker Mary Cullen on social workers going above and beyond for vulnerable families during the COVID-19 pandemic

ISW Mary Cullen

Social workers have shown immense resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic and had little choice but to place any health anxieties to one side, don their protective [...]

Read Full Story

Referrals to children’s services down by 11% but case complexity rises

11/05/2021

The number of referrals to children’s services at March 2021 was 11% lower than in previous years, according to official statistics from the Department for Education.

The ‘Vulnerable Children and Young People Survey Summary of returns Waves 1 to 22’ report published by the Department for Education reveals that in Wave 22 - between 8 and [...]

Read Full Story
Children First is an online resource for professionals working with children presented by WillisPalmer, providing you with the latest news, features and interviews.
Subscribe Today
Delivering a diverse, reliable range of services to children and their families across the UK
D1, Parkside, Knowledge Gateway, Nesfield Road, Colchester, Essex CO4 3ZL
Contact Us

A Mackman Group collaboration - market research by Mackman Research | website design by Mackman

closechevron-downbars linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram