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(Court of Appeal, Thorpe, Lewison LJJ, Hedley J, 26 October 2012)
After the mother's experience of parenting her first child the local authority initiated proceedings and removed her second child within days of birth. Although the mother had made improvements the local authority contended that the evidence demonstrated that she would not be able to make further necessary improvements within the timescales for the child.
The judge, in contrast to the local authority recommendations, adjourned the matter for 3 months, directed an independent social work assessment of a couple who had been involved with the mother, granted them an interim residence order in their favour and made an interim supervision order in favour of the local authority. The orders were suspended pending the hearing of the local authority's appeal.
The judge had been well aware of the tentative professional support and the potential adverse consequences for the child if it all went wrong however in the context of the options that were available to him his judgment as to the best way forward in the interests of the welfare of the child was one that he was well entitled to make. Appeal dismissed.
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