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Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Woman has seven children removed after social workers 'chronic neglect' concerns

Written by Brian Farmer

A woman has had seven children taken from her care after social workers raised concern about "chronic neglect" with family court judges.

The woman's first child was removed from her home more than a decade ago and a judge has now approved the permanent removal of the remaining six.

Recorder Carly Henley had analysed evidence about the youngest six children, who are aged been six months and 10, at a private family court hearing in Newcastle upon Tyne during the summer and has published a written ruling outlining detail of the case.

She said the family involved could not be identified.

The judge approved care plans proposed by council social services bosses and said the six children would be split up and either live with foster carers or be placed for adoption.

She said she had not made the decision to separate the children "lightly" and thought such a move necessary.

Social workers, who had been involved with the family for many years, said the children were being exposed to "domestic abuse, chronic neglect and emotional harm".

They said "due to neglect" one child had needed to have 10 teeth removed.

The woman had been thought to suffer post-natal depression following the birth of each child which could have affected her "ability to maintain home conditions to a good enough standard", the judge was told.

Recorder Henley said the father of the six children had a "history of misusing alcohol" and had been convicted of stabbing the woman.

She said the couple had a "history of separation and reconciliation".

"I am satisfied that sadly none of these children can safely return to the care of (their) mother," said the judge in her ruling.

"When I balance all of the positives that I acknowledge exist for the children in her care against (the) negatives unfortunately (the) negatives prevail."

She added: "The court does not make a decision to separate children lightly.

"It is an extremely draconian step to take.

"I make it clear in considering the care plans I have given them the scrutiny I consider they require."

She went on: "I am satisfied that their respective and divergent needs in terms of the placements required for them mean that they must be separated."

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture - Newcastle upon Tyne Combined Court Centre (c) Hugh Macknight / PA Wire.