Judge praises social work team as he extends troubled boy’s stay at £500,000 a year children’s home

A troubled boy’s placement in a children’s home is costing nearly £500,000 a year, a family court judge has said.

The boy had been taken from the care of his parents because of his “extreme behaviour”, Judge Stephen Wildblood heard.

He had been living at the home, which is in the Midlands, for several months.

Judge Wildwood has concluded that the boy should stay at the home – and says the situation should be reviewed in 18 months.

The judge said the boy’s placement at the home was costing £9,500 a week – an annual cost of £494,000.

He says by the time the case is reviewed, in 18 months, the placement will have cost about £750,000.

Judge Wildwood has outlined detail of the case in a written ruling published following a private family court hearing in Bristol.

He has not named anyone involved but indicated that the boy was 12.

Council social services bosses with welfare responsibilities for the boy had asked the judge to consider the case.

They argued that he should stay at the home and not return to his parents’ care.

Judge Wildblood said the council had “injected considerable resources, time and commitment” into trying to help the boy and his parents – and praised work done by a social work team.

The judge said the boy could be deprived of his liberty at the home.

He said the boy received “intensive education” at a special school, therapy and “skilled care”, and saw his parents regularly.

Judge Wildblood said the boy did not want to be at the home – and his parents did not want him to be at the home.

The judge said the aim must be to return the boy to his family as soon as it became “compatible with his welfare”.

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