Clare Curran, Partner in Charge of the Family Department here at Worthingtons Solicitors, recently acted in a case which involved securing the return of our clients’ young child to their care, following his removal by Social Services on foot of a suspected non accidental injury.
The application before the court was for a Care Order. Proceedings were issued by Social Services after the baby presented at hospital having sustained an in jury of one, possibly 2, fractures to his leg. The parents’ evidence in respect of how the injury was sustained was queried by one of the consultants treating the child at hospital and as a result of concerns that the injury did not match the version of events provided by the parents, Social Services were contacted and issued proceedings seeking the removal of the child from their care. At court, the parents under the advice of their former legal representatives, neither consented nor objected to an interim Care Order being made which resulted in the removal of the child from their care.
The parents were unhappy with how the matter was proceeding and after the initial court hearing, they instructed ourselves to take over the case. We very quickly became proactively involved and brought an application on the parents behalf to discharge the interim Care Order which had been made by the court prior to our involvement. We ensured that Social Services sought to quickly undertake a viability assessment of the baby’s grandmother to request that she could take over the care of the child pending the conclusion of the case, as opposed to him remaining in foster care and we sought a review of the existing contact arrangements which allowed the parents only very limited time with their child in the meantime.
Along with the other parties in the case, we further sought out alternative medical experts to review all of the medical records surrounding the injury sustained. The 2 reports that were obtained ultimately exonerated our clients and resulted in the court discharging the interim Care Order and returning the child to our clients’ care without any ongoing involvement from Social Services.
The case was hugely distressing for the parents of the child. They were distraught to have had their child removed from them in such circumstances. In light of the seriousness of the allegations and the impact of the removal, it was imperative that we acted quickly and attended thoroughly to all of the papers in the case. We needed to ensure that the correct evidence was placed before the court to seek the return of this little boy to his family as quickly as possible in order to limit the negative impact of the case on both him and his parents as much as possible. We were delighted to have been able to assist the parents in the way that we did.
Should you have any queries relating to a family law matter, please do not hesitate to contact our specialist family law advisors on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 028 91811538 to discuss further.