Mum’s setback in battle for children


A WIGAN mum fighting to be reunited with her children has been told by a top judge she must get her house in order if she is to stand any chance of getting them back.

The woman, who cannot be identified, has been locked in a battle with Wigan Council for almost a year after social workers became concerned about her four young children.

London’s Appeal Court heard the relationship with her partner was marked by violence – both his against her and hers against him –which resulted in emotional harm to the youngsters. Last December a Manchester County Court family judge ruled the situation did meet the criteria to justify social service intervention.

The judge ordered the children should live with relatives so that assessment could be carried out ahead of a final court hearing determining where they should live permanently. The mother challenged that decision at the Appeal Court, her lawyers arguing the judge didn’t take enough account of the progress she has made since splitting with her partner.

But, despite acknowledging the family judge’s decision will make the mother’s fight more difficult, Lord Justice Ryder rejected her bid. He told her that, because the ruling was an “interim” decision, she still has a chance to get her case together and convince the family court that she can provide the care her children need. He added: “This is a case where there is no best solution – only the best worst solution - for these children.

“If the children are to avoid public care and be placed in their extended family, the options must be explored by way of assessment. Whether any of those options for placement are successful remains to be decided.

“This mother must have her case in order for the final hearing, which is the responsibility of her legal representatives.”