The High Court supports the notion that children’s best interests lie within their family and in the following case, they dismissed a local authority’s trivial and insignificant obstacles to a mother being with her children as not in keeping with their best interests.
The mother had failed to meet the standards of good parenting and the local authority had placed her son into foster care. She had in that time changed her lifestyle and so she made an application using section 39 of the Children Act 1989 to have her son released into her care.
The local authority resisted the application on the basis that the woman had not always co-operated with social workers and there may be difficulties with the woman’s boyfriend and the boy’s capacity to bond with his brothers and sisters. There was a good relationship between the boy and his foster carers and he was settled.
The Court agreed that the boy should be reunited with his family as this is what he wanted and the objections of the local authority were insignificant including such criticisms as that she didn’t take him to get a haircut and subsequently imposed a one-year supervision order.