Children Are The First Casualties In Adult Disagreements

When families don’t get on and there is in-fighting amongst the adults the children invariably suffer psychological damage. This is when the Family Court are likely to become involved and have to make sense of the situation in the child’s best interest. In the following case a teenage grand daughter had to be removed from the placement with her Grandmother due to a breakdown of the relationship with her daughter, the child’s mother, which had become noxious.

A special Guardianship order put the child into the care of her Grandmother when she was three months old as  her parents were unable to look after her due to their lifestyle choices including substance abuse. The judge ascertained that the child was torn between both adults, her grandmother was trying to sway the child away from her mother, and her mother was retaliating verbally, thus causing constant conflict which put the child in an impossible postion and caused her distress.

As a result the teenager was put into the care of her mother, but the situation slowly deteriorated she left to live with her grandparents. As a result the hot-blooded verbal disagreements escalated to physical disagreements and the police were caught up in the situation. Ultimately the girl and her brother who was younger than her were put into a place of safety.

The teenager wanted to go back to her Grandmothers and not stay in the place of safety.The challenge to the judge was that the situation between the adults had not resolved and if the children were to return they would again be vulnerable to psychological harm. The mother was still not able to look after the children’s well-being, even though she was now not taking drugs.

Both adults independently requested an appeal of the care orders. Both. The girl had become the focus of the adults battle and there seemed no prospect of resolution and therefore in a considered decision the court dismissed both applications on the basis that the  needs of the children had to take priority even if the decision went against the teenagers desires.

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