Improving Lives

Supporting a mother and child

Care order application

At 36, Jane* was a first-time mother, giving birth to a son in March 2018. As Jane had been misusing Class A drugs for the majority of her adult life, and during her pregnancy, the local authority issued an application for a care order. The local authority planned to find adoptive parents if they couldn’t find a family member suitable to care for the child.

Jane wanted to do the best for her child and she made significant progress in managing her substance misuse, engaging with drug workers before and after the birth of her child, with a clear plan to continue to reduce her substance misuse and become clean of drugs. Her intention and commitment to remain drug-free, change her lifestyle and prioritise her child was clear to us from our first meeting.

To support Jane, we found a specialist residential assessment unit specifically for parental substance misuse, who agreed to help Jane and her son. Initially, the local authority refused to agree to let Jane move to the unit, but we made a further Court application, which was successful.

Staying together

Jane and her son progressed well at the unit, and she was allowed to move out and live independently. Jane relocated to be close to the unit so that they could provide ongoing support and signpost her to appropriate resources in the local community, such as the assistance that secured her and her son a flat.

Seeing Jane’s progress and that her son was in good care, the local authority changed its plan for adoption and agreed for them to stay together. As a result of getting the right help and supporting people through their recovery, families are kept together and individuals have the greatest chances of a happy and successful future – as well as saving the state from having to make a costly intervention.

*All names have been changed

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