Search

Haringey under fire for trying to block contact between siblings

PUBLISHED: 15:06 17 April 2014 | UPDATED: 15:06 17 April 2014

The case is taking place at the High Court. File picture: PA Wire

The case is taking place at the High Court. File picture: PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Haringey Council is once again in the firing line after it was revealed it stopped a group of abused siblings seeing each other - despite a High Court ruling to the contrary.

Mr Justice Holman has ordered the council to apologise to the siblings and their parents - who are both serving prison sentences after being convicted of offences against their children.

The judge, sitting at the High Court last Wednesday, April 16, said the results of the “systematic corporate failure” were likely to be “frankly catastrophic”.

He added he was “shocked and baffled” and the position the children had been left in was one of “great gravity”, saying: “The essential failures in this case almost beggar belief.”

Mr Justice Holman told the Family Division of the High Court that another judge had ruled - after making welfare decisions nearly two years ago - the two youngest children must stay in contact with the five older children.

The younger children, aged two and three, are to be adopted, while the older children are in foster care.

But he was told that the council had ended contact between the two groups of children in December 2013 following a “professionals meeting” - and no-one had taken legal advice.

The judge - who named the family as Musa - also said a case reviewing officer had been appointed - and that officer had failed to protect the children.

Mr Justice Holman said it would be “extraordinarily difficult” for the two groups of children to resume contact.

Lawyers representing the council apologised at the hearing, while a senior manager at Haringey said “internal processes” would be reviewed.

Elaine Redding, assistant director of children and young people’s service, said in a statement: “There was well intentioned change effected around the planning for these children which incorrectly failed to take into account the legal framework.

“It is clear that aspects of the team’s compliance with court orders made in respect of the children fell unacceptably short of good practice.”

Ms Redding added: “I am satisfied that in this case there was good liaison between professionals to support the children’s welfare needs, regular direct liaison between the social work and adoption teams and that the required look after children reviews took place.

“It is however unclear to me precisely when the decision was made.”

However, the judge said: “Judges should avoid cynicism. But I cannot help observe how often in recent decades one has read or heard of local authorities learning lessons.”

A Haringey Council spokesman said it “fully recognises” it did not follow correct procedures in this case.

+ The case is on-going.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

The creperie, which attracts celebrity customers such as Kate Moss and Harry Styles, could close as the owner is being forced to pay back the majority of a £15,000 electricity bill which he believes he could not have run up

12 minutes ago

The suspect exposed himself to two women after asking them for directions to the nearest toilets and started to perform a sex act.

Yesterday, 11:53

A group of Camden teachers have challenged themselves to cycle the length of the separation wall that divides the Palestinian West Bank from Israel.

Tue, 23:42

The Conservatives have selected their parliamentary candidate to contest Labour MP Tulip Siddiq, in one of the most marginal constituencies in the country.

Tue, 22:11

A former health secretary has presented new evidence of “deliberate, provable acts of cover-up” in the contaminated blood scandal and demanded a Hillsborough-style inquiry into the tragedy.

Tue, 21:21

Former advertising director Shauna Kelly is through to the knock-out rounds of TV MasterChef contest.

Tue, 16:59

A headteacher has lauded her staff and students after the latest Ofsted inspection at Hornsey School for Girls.

Tue, 13:50

The inquest of Holloway academic Jeroen Ensink will focus on police and mental health authorities after he was stabbed to death by a psychotic man.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now