Grandparents win child custody after council fail to set out risk with ‘sufficient clarity’

A couple who have cared for their six-year-old grandson since he was born have won a family court fight after council social services bosses said he should be taken from them.

The couple had agreed to the youngster being temporarily placed with a relative several months ago, a judge heard.

Another child in the family had suffered an injury and police thought the boy should leave his grandparents’ home while investigations were carried out.

Social services bosses then said the risk of the boy returning to the care of his grandparents was too high – and proposed moving him to a new home.

But Judge Joanna Vincent has ruled against social services bosses and concluded that the boy should return to his grandparents.

Judge Vincent said social workers had not explained why either the grandmother or grandfather presented an “immediate risk of significant harm” to the boy.

She said the council’s case had not been laid out with “sufficient clarity”.

The judge said the boy had not “been exposed to domestic abuse”, there was no evidence that he had been “caught in the cross-fire of adult domestic abuse”, or that he had been at risk from being exposed to “violent or risky individuals”.

Judge Vincent has outlined detail of the case in a ruling published after a family court hearing in Oxford.

She has not identified the family or the council involved.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Steve Parsons / PA Wire.