Foster parent wins injunction against local authority’s planned removal of child
The case – RCW v A Local Authority – concerned a child who was abandoned shortly after birth. She was taken into local authority care and then placed with the woman, referred to as ‘RCW’ in court documents.
The child quickly bonded with her new foster carer. In the words of Mr Justice Cobb:
“The placement appears on all accounts to have been an extremely successful one.”
Unfortunately RCW was diagnosed with a brain tumour early last month. Ten weeks after the initial placement, RCW became eligible to make a formal application for adoption, under the Adoption and Children Act 2002, but on the very same day she was admitted to hospital for emergency surgery.
As a result of the surgery, the woman lost her sight although it has not yet known whether or not the loss will be permanent. On the day that she was discharged from hospital, RCW was assessed by a social worker and shortly afterwards told that the child would be removed from her care.
RCW then applied for the injunction, doing so under section 7 of the Human Rights Act 1998. This allows proceedings to be brought against public authorities that have acted, or plan to act, in ways defined as unlawful by the act.
RCW claimed, amongst other things, that she had not been involved in any of the decisions made by the local authority; that she had made proper arrangement for the child’s care; and that taking the child from her care would breach her – and the child’s – rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which requires respect for “private and family life”.
Describing the case as “unusual and troubling”, Mr Justice Cobb said the local authority had not given RCW a fair opportunity to address its concerns and said it had shown “shown a worrying lack of enquiry into the condition or the potential for good care offered by a visually impaired parent”.
Photo by USCPSC via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence
Share this post
Get free family law updates
Marilyn Stowe’s new book: expert advice on all aspects of divorce, just 99p!
Divorce & Splitting Up by Marilyn Stowe is the essential how-to book for anyone who is getting divorced or splitting up from a partner. Read more >>
"A must buy that really opens your eyes to what is involved if you are considering or going through a divorce." - Amanda Brown
"This will answer your questions in a way that non-lawyers can understand." - Miss P.
"Don't get divorced without it. I read this book despite being divorced for more than 10 years. I wish I'd had this book to hand at the time. Great examples, simple to read and understand." - Jamie
"This really has helped me to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel and I will come out of it a stronger person." - J
Marilyn Stowe on SKY News & ITV This Morning
- Andrew on Almost two children a day abducted by parents
- John on My review of the year (part four) by John Bolch
- Paul on Why are people violent towards their partners? by John Bolch
- Paul on Proportion of married women without children is increasing
- george on Why are people violent towards their partners? by John Bolch
Subscribe & Follow
In the Media
Marilyn Stowe is the senior partner in Stowe Family Law, which has offices in Yorkshire, Cheshire and London. With more than 30 years’ experience handling divorce cases and family law proceedings she is regarded as one of the most formidable and sought after divorce lawyers in the UK. In 2012, Marilyn became one of the first solicitors to qualify as a family law arbitrator.
All persons mentioned in the scenarios are fictitious: details have been deliberately changed in order to protect identities and other confidential circumstances of my clients. All advice and information on this blog including posts written by guest authors, is given only as a general guide to the operation of the law on the date of publication. Readers must place no reliance whatsoever on the content of this blog and must always obtain their own legal advice. Marilyn Stowe, Stowe Family Law LLP and guest authors accept no liability whatsoever arising as a result of reliance upon its content.
Contact Stowe Family Law
These downloads accompany Marilyn Stowe's latest book: Divorce & Splitting Up: Advice From a Top Divorce Lawyer. After opening, right click to save to your computer.
For more free downloads, visit the Downloads section.