Wrexham mum’s foster care probe nightmare

THE mother of a four-year-old girl says she has endured a living hell after an administration blunder led officials to believe her daughter had previously been in foster care.

Wrexham Council has now issued an apology to Eileen Pritchard of Penycae and admitted that it made mistakes.

Mrs Pritchard said she has had to suffer every parents’ worst nightmare, which at one point brought her close to breaking point in the battle with the local authority over her daughter Daisy. She feared the authority was going to attempt to take
Daisy away from the family.

“This just all seems so far fetched, almost like being in a horror film, but it did happen. I want everyone to know about what they did to me and my family,” said Mrs Pritchard.

Daisy survived a stroke when she was just 21-months-old and has limited movement on her right side. Mrs Pritchard said she contacted social services to see if there was any assistance they would be entitled to.

During these discussions it emerged the council had records stating Daisy had previously been placed into foster care and that triggered further inquiries.

“My life dealing with Daisy’s illness is stressful enough and this almost broke me. I was worried they didn’t believe me and they were trying to take Daisy away from me,” said Mrs Pritchard.

“I had to stand up to social services. I shouldn’t have had to go through this.”
Mrs Pritchard has received a letter from Wrexham Council explaining the mistakes it made when dealing with her case.

“It is acknowledged this questioning was particularly distressing for you and I fully acknowledge that it was incorrect information,” the letter states.

“You clearly did feel the matter was discussed with you too frequently and if this has caused you additional distress I apologise unreservedly.”

The letter explained the matter of the recording of named foster carers for Daisy has been investigated by Wrexham’s fostering team.

It said the couple named as foster carers for her did reside in Wrexham but were employed by a private fostering agency. A child with similar details was placed with this couple by another local authority.

“As the foster carers lived in Wrexham, that local authority had a duty to notify Wrexham fostering team of this for the information to be entered onto our system.

“This child had a different date of birth to Daisy, but regrettably the information was entered incorrectly. It would appear that this has been a genuine error which should not have happened and has caused you distress.

“I hope you will accept my genuine apology for the errors that have occurred.”

Wrexham Council said that it had taken steps to correct the records involved.

In addition Clare Field, strategic director for children and young people at Wrexham Council, said: “While it is always difficult to discuss individual cases in the media the letter which was sent to Mrs Pritchard by a member of the children and young people’s services staff apologises unreservedly for any errors made.

“I will be more than happy to meet with Mrs Pritchard to discuss any concerns she may have relating to this matter.”