Law experts attack Daily Mail reports

Family law experts have slammed a newspaper for reporting that
children are being taken into care because their parents are too
poor to look after them.

The Daily Mail story was based on government figures
stating that low income was the main reason for 110 children being
looked after by local authorities at the end of March 2004.

But Liz Goldthorpe, chair of the Association of Lawyers for
Children, said low income would never be grounds for children to be
compulsorily removed from their parents. The law states that this
can only happen if they are suffering, or are at risk of,
significant harm.

Alison Paddle, chair of Nagalro, the professional association
representing guardians, said family courts would stop cases from
going any further if low income was the only reason for children to
be removed.

A Department for Education and Skills spokesperson said the figure
included children who were voluntarily placed in local authority
care. She said no child would be taken into care solely on the
basis that their parents didn’t have enough money.

She also rejected claims in the Mail, from pressure group the
Families Anti-Social Services Inquiry Team, that the government’s
target to increase adoptions was leading to children being taken
into care.

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