Case study: children, families & child protection

Authors: Mel Cadman & Kathryn Cameron

The neighbour

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It's almost a year since the phone call and the social worker's visit. When David and Sam returned to Sharon's flat they found she had disappeared leaving the children with her neighbour, Theresa Connolly.

Sharon could not be located, and - since the children's father was unknown and there were no other relatives on the scene - Jasmine, Jack and Amber were all cared for by the local authority.

All three children were accommodated in an emergency foster care placement for the first eight weeks. When it became clear the placement could become long-term, even permanent, the two older children (Jasmine and Jack) were moved to residential care and Amber to another foster care placement.

The social work department used the Children’s Hearing system throughout to secure the placements.

In the scene above Theresa - Sharon's neighbour – reflects on events from her point of view.