A Judge in Hull has today criticised Social Workers at North East Lincolnshire County Council. Judge Simon Jack described Social Workers Rachel Olley and Neil Swaby as biased against grandparents who were offering to care for their grandson alongside his brother who was already in their care following the unfortunate death of their mother.
The evidence of the Social Workers was discredited following the argument Olley put forward in court, regarding the boys alleged behavioural problems which grossly contradicted her written statement. The implication was that the Social Workers were trying to tailor their evidence to meet their desired outcome in the proceedings rather than what was best for the child.
Judge Simon Jack commented: “I have never, in over 10 years of hearing care cases, taken the view, as I did in this case, that the local authority’s witnesses were visibly biased in their attempts to support the local authority’s case”.
The case was handled by Nigel Priestley of Ridley & Hall Solicitors who is a well respected Family Practitioner in the area and who I have worked with in abuse matters in the past.
This case raises interesting issues in relation to Social Services. Many of the claims I deal with are on behalf of children who have been let down by Social Services because of their failure to intervene to protect them. This case is one of a growing trend where it is the action rather than in action of Social Services that causes the problem. We are now regularly bringing cases against Social Services where they have been “heavy handed”. They have removed children without legal grounds or they have made decisions such as the one in this case which are wrong and which are not motivated by what is in the best interests of the child.
Here at Farleys we specialise in claims against Social Services for their negligence and breach of duty and if you have suffered in similar circumstances please do not hesitate to contact our specialist team.
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