Court decides foster children must return to their mother

The Appeal Court last week ordered two young children in foster
care be returned to their mother despite fears for their safety
expressed by Surrey Council.

Social work staff claimed that that the mother, who has learning
difficulties, “does not have, and is unable to learn, the necessary
skills to be able to parent either of the children safely or
consistently to a standard that will meet their diverse and
changing needs.”

The council had previously sought a court order that both
children be freed for adoptions.

But Lady Justice Hale said matters had improved and she upheld a
Guildford County Court judge’s ruling in April that the children
should be returned.

She told the court: “The judge was entitled to reach the
conclusion that the best interests of the children lay in being
reunited with their mother with the help and support of the local

One of the children, a boy born in April 1997, was placed on the
child protection register shortly after suffering a cigarette burn
at the hands of his father, who has since died.

The other child, a baby girl, was born last year to a different
partner. The court heard her father now intends moving in with the
family and helping out with both children.

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