Dorset

Children to be adopted as 'kisses and cuddles not enough'

Bournemouth courts building
Image caption The family court hearing was held in Bournemouth

Two children have been taken from the care of their mother, who has a learning disability, after a judge said "kisses and cuddles are not enough".

The family court in Bournemouth heard there were concerns the children were neglected and their parents' home was "cluttered and unhygienic".

Judge Martin Dancey said although the girl, three, and one-year-old boy were loved, they needed "attuned parenting".

The children will now be put up for adoption.

Judge Dancey said the 35-year-old mother had a "mild learning disability" and was partly deaf in both ears. He said the woman's 59-year-old husband was her registered carer. Both had suffered from depression.

He said social workers found the basic care and supervision of the children was "wholly inadequate", as they appeared dirty as well as "pale, unkempt and vacant in their expressions".

'Epitome of neglected children'

Social workers had to prompt the parents to change nappies and the mother had been seen "rough handling" the girl.

The judge said the local council was clear the children were suffering from neglect and a report stated their "presentation is the epitome of neglected children".

During the private hearing, two lip-speakers had translated and lawyers and social workers were encouraged to dispense with legal jargon. The judge produced an "easy read" version of his ruling.

He said the woman had "done everything she possibly could" to look after the children, but he had reached the decision "with careful regard to the mother's needs".

He said: "Kisses and cuddles are not enough. Those they got. What they did not have was attuned parenting sensitive to their needs."

Neither the family nor the local authority involved have been identified.

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