Care battle pair allowed to look after teenager

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A couple who are fighting to get their three children back from the grips of social services were allowed to look after a 15-year-old boy who is also within the care system.

The Hemel Hempstead parents, who cannot be named for legal reasons, looked after the teenager – a friend of one of their older children who is still living at home.

The mum said: “They should have done some sort of checks. They should have at least checked the address and they would have known straight away.”

Social service workers from Herts County Council took the couple’s three youngest children – aged eight, 10 and 13 – away just days before Christmas over concerns for their care. Two older children are still living at home.

Now the mum and her partner, who is the biological dad of the two youngest children, are going through the courts in a bid to get their little ones back. But before then they must face expert assessments.

Despite being deemed unable to look after their own children, on Saturday, April 6 the social services team at the London Borough of Bexley allowed the pair to look after a 15-year-old boy overnight. The teenager previously lived in the same street as the family.

London Borough of Bexley communications manager Jane Parson said: “The council made all the necessary statutory enquiries when this 15-year-old young person in our care asked permission to stay with his friend at his home for one night.

“Unfortunately, as part of those enquiries, the mother of his friend chose not to work openly with the local authority and did not disclose information regarding her own circumstances despite having the opportunity to do so.”