The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Sup­port ser­vices ‘fail­ing chil­dren’

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A lead­ing judge has raised con­cerns about the way “vul­ner­a­ble and dis­turbed” chil­dren are be­ing cared for.

Sir James Munby, pres­i­dent of the Fam­ily Di­vi­sion of the High Court, says pro­vi­sion is in­ad­e­quate.

He has aired his thoughts in a writ­ten rul­ing af­ter over­see­ing a fam­ily court case in Lon­don in­volv­ing a 16-year-old girl who had at­tempted sui­cide and re­peat­edly harmed her­self.

Sir James ex­plained how all pro­fes­sion­als in­volved thought that the teenager should be placed in a spe­cial­ist se­cure unit.

But coun­cil so­cial ser­vices staff had not been able to find a suitable unit in the UK for six weeks.

A spe­cial­ist guardian ap­pointed to rep­re­sent the teenager’s in­ter­ests dur­ing lit­i­ga­tion said she had been “failed by sup­port ser­vices”.

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