Judge decides children can return home after father undergoes anger management treatment
A man has won a family court fight over the care of two children after going on anger management courses.
Council social workers raised concern about the man’s “physical chastisement” of his five-year-old stepson.
They said the man had repeatedly chastised the boy by hitting him with an “open hand”, or with the “side of his hand”, and by shouting at him.
The boy, and the man’s two-year-old daughter, had been temporarily placed with foster carers pending decisions about their long-term future.
Social services bosses said the two children should be permanently taken from the man, and his partner, and live with relatives.
But a judge has ruled the children can return home after the man attended anger management courses and a “caring dads” programme, and said he had “changed”.
Judge Paul Middleton-Roy, who analysed the case at a recent private family court hearing, said the man accepted he had slapped and hit the boy.
But the judge said evidence shows the man is learning.
“To his credit, the father has followed professional advice and recommendations,” said the judge, in a written ruling published online.
“He has attended several relevant courses specifically focused towards addressing the areas of concern identified by the local authority and the professionals.
“He has been committed to learning and he has gained positively from that learning.
“In my judgment, the evidence demonstrates that the risk of significant harm to the children from the father has reduced to levels that are manageable.”
He said social workers would supervise the children’s care at home and offer support.
Judge Middleton-Roy said the best person to bring up a child is the natural parent.
He said the aim should always be to reunite families unless the welfare of a child requires separation.
“It matters not whether the parent is wise or foolish, rich or poor, educated or illiterate, provided the child’s moral and physical health are not in danger,” he said.
“Public authorities cannot improve on nature.
“Society must be willing to tolerate very diverse standards of parenting, including the barely adequate and the inconsistent.”
The judge said the children could not be identified in media reports of the case.
He has not named the council involved, given any indication where the family live or said where the court hearing was staged.
Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2020, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Pixabay.