Court Report: Withdrawal from care proceedings
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Case name: WSCC v M and others; Case number:  EWHC 1914; Judge: Mr Justice Hedley; Location: High Court of Justice (Family Division)
This case concerned an application by a local authority to withdraw from care proceedings in accordance with the Family Proceedings Rules r.4.5.
The children concerned had been removed by social services in 2009 following an opinion from a consultant community paediatrician stating that their mother had fabricated medical symptoms in respect of both herself and three of the children.
The children had then returned to live with their father and in 2010 the mother moved back into the family home. The family were monitored by the local authority and demonstrated an increasingly healthy family situation.
It was planned that the involvement of social services would be withdrawn and that a safeguarding plan would be put in place. The family supported this arrangement.
The court held that the family was able to function alone and, therefore, the local authority was able to withdraw from care proceedings in this case.
The court considered the wishes of the children and the understanding of the father that he must play a central role in the children's healthcare.
Mr Justice Hedley stated that any potential risk could be managed through the agreed safeguarding plan.
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