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(Court of Appeal, McFarlane LJ, 14 March 2013)
The mother's first appeal of a decision to grant a final care order in respect of her 9-year-old child was refused. She now sought permission to appeal that refusal and the care order.
The child was diagnosed with a disorder on the autistic spectrum which made him challenging to care for. The mother's personality and psychological make up had particular needs which drove her to act in a particular way on occasions. During proceedings it was claimed that the mother had on three occasions abandoned the child. The judge made findings on the factual background and the mother had little chance of overturning those findings on appeal.
The care plan was for the child to remain in long-term foster care with regular contact with the mother. The decision to place the child in foster care for the majority of his childhood was draconian. In endorsing such a care plan insufficient analysis had been given to the need to have the child's welfare as the paramount consideration and looking at the prospects of some rehabilitation in the future.
That decision was sufficient reason to grant permission to appeal.