'The worst thing is not knowing how the boys are' - mother who had boys taken away by children's services speaks out
PUBLISHED: 06:30 04 March 2017 | UPDATED: 12:48 05 March 2017
"A miscarriage of justice" is how North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham describes how one young mother had her two boys taken away.
The mother has since had two more children, which have not been taken by children’s services.
Speaking to this newspaper as part of our investigation into Norfolk County Council’s children’s services department, she said: “The worst thing is not knowing how the boys are or where they are.
“A lot of people say to me ‘I don’t know how you are still standing’.”
She has not seen her first two children for two and a half years and her only contact is one letter a year.
The family has spent £20,000 on legal fees and say they feel letdown by the courts and angry at the children’s services department who they claim were “underhand” in taking the boys away.
“We’ve exhausted every legal avenue. We’re now pushing for cases to get reviewed,” the boy’s grandmother said.
The boys were initially taken into foster care when the relationship between their mum and dad broke down in 2013.
She does not dispute the initial decision.
However, a few months later they were placed back with their mum but ten days later they were taken away again and eventually adopted.
The family claims the children were wrongly removed from their mother for the second time after one of the boys hurt himself at a playpark when a gate swung into his face.
The social worker was concerned about the injury and an emergency court hearing was held and the boys were put back into foster care.
In court, the family said evidence from their doctor and witnesses to the playpark injury was ignored.
They claimed the council changed its story on several occasions over the two years about why the boys could not stay with their mum.
The boys were taken into care and adopted after a ruling from the family court in Norwich in 2014, but the family then got a barrister from outside of Norfolk to take the case to the Court of Appeal in London.
The barrister told the London court the boys had been “snatched away again for no good reason”.
They said the council had used out of date assessments on the mother to remove the boys, but the court denied their appeal.
The family feel the council has failed to recognise that the mother has got her life back on track and is bringing up her two other children without social services involvement.