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Annie Bertram had her newborn baby taken into care shortly after care orders had been granted on two of her other children. I heard Annie speak about her fight to get her baby back at the Transparency Project conference in June last year, and immediately knew I wanted to write about what she and her family had been through. But care proceedings are held in private: publishing details is usually a contempt.
This article for Family Law explains how, with pro-bono support from barristers Lucy Reed and Sarah Phillimore, I went to court to argue for the right to tell Annie’s story. Subject to changing certain identifying details about the family, we succeeded in convincing a judge to allow my application to relax section 12 of the Administration of Justice Act 1960, and the feature was published in Guardian Weekend on 20 February.
Annie, who writes the Surviving Safeguarding website and tweets at @survivecourt, now contributes to social worker training and is setting up a parental advocacy service for families involved with the child protection system.
"A large and important book that should be on the shelf of every family lawyer." Sir James Munby