Malek Wan Daud acts for children where Judge highlights vital role of intermediaries in cases with vulnerable parents

Friday 2 February 2024

Malek Wan Daud of the Garden Court Family Law Team acted for the children, ‘O’ and ‘Y’, instructed by Zak Routledge of THP Solicitors.

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The case involves two girls aged nine and seven. The seven-year-old girl has epilepsy, autism and functions like child of one & a half to two years with difficulty communicating. The children suffered emotional & physical harm and neglect in the parents care due to their emotional needs not being met, domestic abuse between the parents, a lack of supervision and lack of boundaries.

The parents are both vulnerable adults with significant learning disabilities, physical and mental health issues. The Local Authority had been involved throughout the children’s lives, and, although they provided extensive support and services, these could not ameliorate the difficulties. The children were removed into foster care and are in separate placements.

The parents strongly wanted the children back in their care. However, they took the child-focussed decision that the children should remain in foster care, as the children’s needs could be met better there than at home in the parents’ care.

This case illustrates the importance of having intermediaries where the parents are so very vulnerable. In this case, the parents were not able to read and write due to their learning disability, anxiety, and depression. The intermediaries were able to make real contributions to help parents make informed decisions enabling justice to be done.

At the beginning of the judgment, the Judge has written a careful summary, using simple language and sentences to enable the parents to understand.

Read the full judgment here: Re 'O' and ‘Y’ (Parents with Learning Disability: Intermediaries) [2024] EWFC 7(B).

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