Claims Could Rise For Failures In Child In Care

Claims against local councils could be set to rise if it is found that there has been a breach in any of the child’s human rights.

One case in particular is Mr Justice Keehan’s judgment in Northamptonshire County Council v AS and Ors (Rev 1) [2015] EWHC 199 (Fam) which resulted in the local authority being ordered to pay £12,000 in damages to the child, £4,000 to the mother and a further £1,000 to the grandparents to help them take care of the child.

Northamptonshire County Council had been found guilty of breaching the human rights of a new born child that had been taken into care. The council had made a catalogue of procedural errors which eventually led to the judgement against them.

This included obtaining an s20 consent without an interpreter (the new born baby’s family were Latvian) and not issuing care proceedings until nine months after the child had been accommodated. There were also delays in issuing several other documents linked to the case.

The case is significant because it will go down as the first reported domestic award for damages for achild in care proceedings.

Social care departments will need to be far more stringent on obeying human rights laws in future to prevent similar cases in the future.