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Friday, 29 June 2018

Cardiff boy living with foster carers to have Polish lessons paid for by council

Written by Brian Farmer

Council bosses are to pay for a Polish boy living with foster carers in Wales to have Polish lessons, a family court judge has said.

Mr Justice Francis said the boy was now aged around nine and had spent the first six years of his life in Poland before being brought to Wales by his mother.

The judge has been told that the boy's foster parents have Polish neighbours and he says Cardiff City Council, which has welfare responsibilities for him, will make funding available so that he can have Polish lessons.

He indicated his approval, saying it was essential that the youngster stayed in touch with his Polish heritage.

The boy has been at the centre of family court proceedings overseen by Mr Justice Francis.

Detail of his case has emerged in a written ruling published by the judge following a family court hearing in Cardiff.

Social workers had intervened after the boy's mother returned to Poland and left him in the care of a man she had lived with.

The judge was told that the man had been convicted of child sex offences and the boy was temporarily placed with foster parents.

Mr Justice Francis, who is based in the Family Division of the High Court in London, has now ruled that the boy should stay with those foster parents.

He said they would become the boy's special guardians.

The judge said it was essential that the boy stayed in touch with his Polish heritage.

"He is a Polish boy and it is important to have regard to his Polish heritage," said Mr Justice Francis in his ruling.

"I understand that there are Polish neighbours with whom he can converse and that funding is going to be made available by the local authority for him to have Polish lessons.

"It is, of course, essential that he grows up in touch with his Polish heritage and I encourage (his foster carers) to allow him to mix with other Polish children if that is possible, so that he can learn about his country or continue to learn about his country and speak Polish with them."

Mr Justice Francis ruled that the boy could not be identified.

But he said social services bosses at Cardiff City Council had asked him to make decisions about the youngster's future.

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