Haringey Council social workers allegedly “snatched” a child from outside his foster home while he was playing with friends, less than two hours after his carer lost her fight for guardianship.
Neighbours of the foster carer, who had looked after the child, known as Baby C, for 16 months, told Community Care their own children were traumatised by the way they claim he was removed by force last month.
One said: “I didn’t see what happened because I was inside but I heard lots of shouting and the foster carer was shouting ‘Do not push me, do not push me. There is no need for that’. I could hear the baby screaming ‘mummy, mummy’.
“Then the kids came running in saying a ‘naughty lady has taken him away’.”
Another neighbour, who was returning home, said she saw the foster carer being pushed by a woman and another woman rushed past her carrying the boy and ran up the street with him to a nearby car.
More than 150 of the carer’s neighbours have signed a petition calling for the sacking of the social workers involved and the council’s director of children’s services, Sharon Shoesmith.
The boy was trafficked into the UK and approved for adoption in July. His foster carer had applied for a special guardianship order but was unsuccessful. She lost her appeal against the High Court decision last month. But Lord Justice Wall said the boy’s transition from the carer to his adoptive family should be done with “minimum disruption”.
A Haringey Council spokesperson said it had a “full account of that day which differs very significantly from the account given and we are confident that social workers acted appropriately in difficult circumstances”.
But the council refused to explain why Baby C was removed from his placement so quickly after the court judgment or how the events of the day were different from what is alleged by neighbours.
Expert advice on how to manage the transition between foster and adoptive care