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Wednesday, 08 November 2017

Woman criticises social work assessment as Judge names council in care case

Written by Brian Farmer

A woman unhappy about the way she has been treated by social services bosses with welfare responsibilities for her baby granddaughter has persuaded a family court judge to reveal the identity of the council involved.

Judge Stephen Wildblood said it is right that Gloucestershire County Council should be identified.

The judge named the council in a written ruling on the girl's case, although he said the youngster could not be identified.

Council bosses had opposed publication, saying it might create an information jigsaw which could lead to the child's identity being revealed.

But Judge Wildblood, who analysed the case at a private family court hearing in Bristol, disagreed.

He said he had decided the woman should care for her granddaughter, and she had "put herself out" to offer the youngster the chance to be cared for within her "natural family".

The woman had "expressed profound dissatisfaction" about the way she had been assessed and treated by social services staff, said Judge Wildblood, and believed people should know the council's name.

Judge Wildblood released a statement in which the woman had outlined complaints.

She said she had been through an "extraordinary experience".

"It is important that some good should come from what has happened in this case, to this baby, to her parents and to me," she said.

"It has seemed that the local authority is unused to being questioned or called to account for their conduct, decisions or even their misinformation.

"It struck me that social workers are unused to the clients they work with demanding to be treated with respect, honesty and efficiency.

"I have wondered how this case would have ended if I had been a less vocal, expressive or determined person. I am in no doubt that this baby may have been adopted."

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