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(Court of Appeal, Hughes, Tomlinson, Toulson LJJ, 16 August 2012)
The local authority appealed a decision not to grant interim care orders in respect of two children. The family had been subject to social services involvement for a number of years and further concerns were raised when the 17-year-old daughter had a relationship with her quasi-step father and conceived a child.
After the father of the child died the mother and daughter lived together with the baby and care proceedings were initiated. Interim care orders were refused and the local authority appealed.
Although there were reasonable grounds for believing the children were at risk of significant harm due to the mothers' lack of appropriate sexual boundaries the judge was right to conclude that their immediate removal was not necessary or proportionate at an interim stage, and there was no risk in the short term.