Case study: children, families & child protection

Authors: Mel Cadman & Kathryn Cameron
Video transcript

The foster carer

Recently, a number of things have happened in rapid succession.

Firstly, a man claiming to be the father of Amber has been in contact with the social work office. He stated he would be able to "take her home" as he is settled in a nearby town living with a woman and her two children from a former marriage. Although recognised as someone who was around in Sharon’s life a while ago, he has never been referred to as Amber’s father and his name does not appear on Amber’s birth certificate.

He becomes angry when told that the children’s legal status would not currently allow him the right to visit, let alone take her "home". He says he’ll contact the Reporter "to sort things out".

Secondly, a post-card is received in an envelope sent to Clydetown Social Work Services office addressed to ‘Jasmine, Jack and Amber Donnelly ’.

I'm just away for a wee break. I'll never stop loving you and thinking about you. Take care my darlings. I'll be back soon and we'll be together soon.
Love, Mum xxx

Thirdly, Amber’s foster carers are expressing a wish to look after her on a permanent basis through adoption. However, they are not enthusiastic about Jasmine maintaining contact with Amber and assume this will cease when any order is granted. They appear to have forgotten about Sharon’s status as birth mother.

A LAAC review is immanent. This review will be charged with drawing up a plan which addresses the needs of each of the children in placement, plans for their future, and acknowledges the rights of other key parties involved.

In the scene above, Marion Collins, Amber's current foster carer describes the situation as she sees it.