IN THE MATTER OF THE CHILDREN ACT 1989
AND IN THE MATTER OF: L (CHILDREN)
1 Bridge Street West
B e f o r e :
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D, E and F (through their Guardian, J)
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Suite 204, Kingfisher Business Centre, Burnley Road, Rawtenstall, Lancashire BB4 8ES
Telephone: 0845 604 5642 – Fax: 01706 870838
No appearance for the Mother and Father, B and C
Solicitor for the Children/Guardian: H
Crown Copyright ©
D, a female child, born on 25th May 1998 who is 15;
E, a female child born on 15th March 2001 who is 12 and;
F, a male child born on 28th May 2006 and he is 7.
(1) There is a long and distressing history of the parents' failure to meet the most basic needs of their children. The pattern of profound parental neglect dates back at least 13 years during which period the Local Authority has repeatedly been involved. It is depressing to record that the first referral to the Local Authority children services department in in relation to the neglectful and chaotic environment in which D, E M, and L were obliged to live. was in 2001
(2) The children have been exposed to or have suffered actual violence within the family home on regular occasions, the most serious known to the Local Authority being as follows:
(i) On 5th August 2002 the mother assaulted the children;
(ii) On 29th September 2002 the mother stabbed the father and threatened the children with a knife;
(iii) On 9th December 2007 N smashed windows at the property;
(iv) In May 2013 N assaulted his mother;
(v) On 2nd September 2013 E was assaulted by a neighbour, being subjected to punching;
(vi) On 26th September 2013 D was assaulted by his mother.
(3) The parents have failed to ensure that the children's health needs are met and have failed to ensure they are taken to essential health appointments. Each of the children suffered painful dental decay. The mother also failed to take E to hospital to be medically examined following the assault I have already referred to on 2nd September 2013 becse she was frightened that this would "incriminate her". Nonetheless she saw fit to seek medical attention for herself.
(4) The parents have failed to provide a safe and secure home for the children. The family home has been used to deal illicit drugs. On 26th May 2009 N was found to have 19 wraps of heroin and 13 wraps of cocaine in his possession. He and his brother M both were sentenced to custody for possession of class A drugs and intent to supply those drugs from the family home.
(5) The parents have failed consistently to provide a clean and safe home for the children. Conditions have frequently been poor, hazardous and without adequate food and furniture.
(6) The mother and father, the parents, have failed to ensure that the children's personal hygiene is to an appropriate standard. The children have been subjected to flea bites, have smelt of urine, have been unclean, have been dressed in dirty and smelly clothing and suffer with head lice.
(7) The parents have failed to ensure that the children attend school regularly. D was not accessing any educational provision at all. The parents have not engaged in a plan devised to support D's return to education.
(8) The parents have failed to engage with the support services provided to assit them to meet any of the childrren's basic needs. Those services have included the Family Intervention Support Service, Home Start, the Antisocial Behaviour team, the Early Intervention Team, the Youth Offending service, CAMHS and child protection plans. They have failed to make any changes to their lifestyles which would be conducive to caring for the children.