Wednesday 22 November 2017
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Barbaric' council separated disabled teenager and foster mother

The sister of a severely disabled teenager has said Manchester City Council was "barbaric" and "unprofessional" for taking him away from his foster mother.

The 19-year-old, who has a mental age of two, was taken from his foster home by Manchester City Council after many years and put in a care home while allegations against his carer were investigated.

The allegations surrounded comments the teenager was said to have made at school about being locked in a wardrobe. The claims later proved to be unfounded.

High Court judge Mr Justice Baker said it was "deplorable" the council had breached the teenager's human rights and mental health laws aimed to protect the rights of vulnerable people.

Last week, the judge allowed the authority in question to be named after giving his judgment in March. Since March, the teenager has been reunited with his foster mother and is said to be thriving.

Speaking to Channel 4 News, the sister - who cannot be named for legal reasons - said: "They (the council) were barbaric, unprofessional.
They're supposed to be a caring service. I didn't see an ounce of care, an ounce of thought of best interest in any of it."

His foster mother, who must also remain anonymous to protect his identity, told the programme that she was informed by social workers he was going into respite care for "a few days" while the matter was investigated.

She said she was then not allowed to see the teenager for nearly two months and after that had to tell him she was still not able to bring him home. "I'm sure he could tell I was upset when I said to him 'I can't pick you up today, love, but I will definitely be picking you up soon. Be a good boy'. He just couldn't understand it. He said 'I want to go home, mum, I want to go home'," she said.

The teenager has a serious physical handicap, the result of a complex genetic condition, with associated kidney and spinal problems and learning difficulties. He was removed from his foster mother's care in April last year. He had lived with her since 1995.

Mr Justice Baker ruled the council breached the teenager's right to respect for privacy and family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and his right not to be deprived of his liberty without legal authority under Article 5.

Source Press Association