National Legal Service Helps Bring Family Back Together with Supervision Order

National Legal Service Helps Bring Family Back Together with Supervision Order

National Legal Service’s family law team have been able to help bring a family back together in difficult circumstances, following allegations of alcohol abuse, gambling, and domestic violence.

Jane* is a mum of seven. She shares four children with a previous partner however, the two have no contact. She also has two younger children with a new partner and fell pregnant during family court proceedings.

In 2021, Jane’s Local Authority became involved with the family. Jane has a history of alcohol abuse and there were concerns around her partner’s behaviour, which was known to include gambling. These issues, coupled with instances of domestic abuse between the two, saw the Local Authority initiate Care Proceedings.

Jane and her partner decided to separate before the initial hearing took place. However, the Local Authority still requested that all six children be removed from the family home during proceedings – something that Jane did not want to happen. The application for an Interim Care Order was denied by the courts, but the judge did issue a Supervision Order which was to remain in place until August 2022.

While a Supervision Order falls short of removing the children from the home, it does allow the Local Authority to maintain contact and advise, assist, and befriend them.

Shortly before the Supervision Order was to have expired, the police were called to the family home following reports of a loud argument. They found Jane heavily intoxicated. She alleged that her former partner had taken her mobile phone and physically assaulted her. As a result of this incident, the children were placed under police protection on 18 August 2022 and subsequently placed in foster care.

With the children removed from the family home, Jane resolved to make changes to her behaviour. She sought therapy to deal with her issues with alcohol ahead of the final hearing, which was scheduled for June 2023.

The final hearing lasted five days with the Local Authority seeking to place the four older children in long-term foster care, and adoption for the two youngest children. However, during the hearing the children’s guardian changed her position, instead giving her support to a Supervision Order for the four older children, with an adjournment to a later date for the application concerning the two younger children.

Letters from the children were also considered. All stated their desire to return home. The oldest child had already left the foster home of her own volition and returned to her mother’s house. The judge granted a Supervision Order, with all six children to be returned to their mother’s care.

Today, Jane has a happy family life. She continues to live with her six older children and newborn baby and has made good progress.

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