Sir James Munby5

A top judge has slammed social workers who force children into care homes without telling their parents why.

Sir James Munby, one of the country’s most senior judges condemned public servants who fail to tell parents why their children were being adopted after two Bristol social workers ignored a court order requiring them to explain why the couple’s two children were being taken for adoption.

In that particular case, they prevented parents from mounting a legal challenge by only releasing the information to the parents 45 minutes before the decision was due to be finalised.

Sir James Munby is president of  is the Family Division and warned that in the future, social workers who do this could face jail time.

He branded the actions of the Bristol social workers as ‘deplorable’ and  ‘lackadaisical’.

In an interview with the Daily Mail: “It is, unhappily, symptomatic of a deeply rooted culture in the family courts which, however long established, will no longer be tolerated. The court is entitled to expect – and from now on family courts will demand – strict compliance with all such orders.”

His judgment was supported by Lib Dem MP John Hemming, who said: “At least anybody who is sent down for contempt by Sir James will not be locked up in secret. He has put the boot on to the other foot. The next time courts are let down by the incompetence or bloody-mindedness of social workers, it will be a director of children’s services facing jail rather than a parent.”

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