This will now be the fourth time I’ve written about this particular case, you may recall that it involves a family whose relationship with their daughter broke down and she came into care voluntarily as a result of being beyond parental control. The parents obtained a judgment in which the Court found that their complaints of being treated badly by the LA and being marginalised and excluded were made out, though the Court went on to make a Care Order believing that the better option of wardship was barred to them.
The Court of Appeal then ruled that it wasn’t and wardship was made.
The parents were then asking the Court whether they could speak out in public about the case – providing that they did nothing to give away the identity of themselves and the child.
(You may remember, it was my clunky Batman analogy – the parents wanted to say in their interviews that the published judgments were about them, using the alias in the published judgments but not give their real name – i.e they could say “I’m Batman” but not “I’m Bruce Wayne, and I am also Batman”)
Okay, so the Court now finally have said that they can indeed say “I’m Batman” – their faces would need to be either silouhetted or pixellated but they don’t need voice-changing technology. I think it is important for family justice that in a case where the Court have found that the State got things wrong, that this gets properly aired, and those concerned ought to be able to tell their story, so I think it is a good thing. (unlike Re J, where there was not yet any published context to ascertain whether the parents huge sense of injustice and aggrievement was justified by bad treatment as opposed to being a natural human reaction)
There’s even a fifth judgment, which deals in part with the wrangle that the parents had to obtain the therapy that their daughter so clearly needed. If you have seen the title of the case and got excited that it is a ‘compelling the LA to fund therapy’ case, it isn’t. Firstly this is wardship, and secondly the LA had agreed to be bound by the Court’s views – it was about who was to provide that therapy (the organisation supported by the psychologist and parents, or the one supported by the LA), the LA lost that argument too, but to their credit agreed to be bound rather than sheltering behind technical arguments about the court’s powers.
Having played a microscopic part in all of this, I am very pleased for these parents, who have had a long and gruelling journey to get justice and the help that their daughter so badly needs and have finally done so. I hope that some of the principles they have fought for may help others.
And in a final flourish – Bale is amazing, obviously, but against all the odds, wimpy Michael Keaton delivers THE line better than anyone could have expected.
There are enough ingredients in this case to make a 5 part mini drama series on the Beeb, please Sir, can I play the part of Robin?
It is almost 12 months give or take a few days since the Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and made the Wardship Order,
That has meant there has been a further 12 months of legal wrangling to arrive at a conclusion that should have been reached some 18 months previously, just thinking about the aspect of the over all costs in this matter, court time et al, I do not just mean the financial costs borne by both parties either, more so the emotional costs towards the parents, despite that, I would say both parents in the case are the most remarkable people you could meet, without the stamina and drive I think many a humbled person would have been floored by the sheer weight of the case and hurdles to overcome.
I remember strikingly one hearing in Leicester just after the appeal hearing, we were at court from 9 am until well past 5, what was discussed, what was the hearing about, I think by the end of the day it was so draining it took quite some time to take stock, that one hearing was nothing new as the parents would say, every hearing was always a full day, many of the hearings were like a kiddies jack in the box, keep winding the handle until eventually HHJ Bellamy would pop out of the box!
One point I would raise with all of this, how much different the outcome would have been if the 26 wk time frame played a part, obviously this was a matter of an exceptional case, I am still lost to know what determines an exceptional case, especially from the views of parents, each one of their cases in their views are exceptional, removal of a child doesn’t get any more exceptional despite the circumstances surrounding them.
I am so very happy for the daughter getting the treatment she needs bless her & also pleased for the parent u stuck to UR guns and got what UR had been crying out for well done u guys…
I just wish some one wild hear my voice by I am a single parent in a minority and my life and to reunification Btween myself and my boys need to happen as I have done nothing wrong … I will NOT be SILENCED for much longer as God is my witness.
Predictor text oh dear not good
But I ment
I wish someone would *
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Its so good to hear that finally, they seem to be getting somewhere, but its obvious the feelings of the couple against the LA. The LA should be working for the family and the child, not against them at every step. Even when judgement has fallen in the families favour.
This is about the child.
I too have learnt to hate. Gone is this gentle giant structure. Now the defensive mass! The damage that this has done to our daughters siblings is beyond belief. After 7 years of trying to get her the help, we have given up. Now just picking up the pieces and supporting the venerable ones! Against all odds.
It’s Ourfuturz, Our Children’s Futures!