Council loses fight over return of child

The Court of Appeal has backed a judge’s decision to resist the
advice of social workers and order the return of a child to her
father’s care.

At an earlier hearing at Pontypridd County Court, Judge Hugh Jones
– against the advice of the child’s guardian and local authority
social workers – decided not to free the two-year-old girl for
adoption because he felt the father and his new partner could “now
provide for her needs”.

The child had been taken into care in early 2002 by Rhondda Cynon
Taff Council after she was admitted to hospital with pneumonia.

The council took the case to the Court of Appeal to overturn the
ruling. But Lord Justice Thorpe dismissed the case, saying Judge
Jones had tackled the core question of whether the father
“demonstrably lacked the capacity to meet her needs”.

The girl is now in regular contact with her father and siblings
while an interim care order remains in place.

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