(Family Division, District Judge Cushing, 13 March 2013)
The learning disabled mother of a child, now just under a year old, had been assessed during two placements at specialist assessments centres. After the first assessment the judge found that while the mother was noted to have made progress, there was still insufficient information to determine whether care and placement orders should be made. A further placement was directed to determine the extent to which the mother could build upon the improvements she had made and make a transition from supported accommodation into independent living.
The mother had done well in both assessments and had demonstrated that she was capable of meeting the child's needs so long as she had access to the support and advice that she accepted she required. She was able to recognise her own limitations due to her learning disabilities and worked effectively with professionals.
The threshold had been found to have been passed and the local authority now conceded that a supervision order would be sufficient to enable professionals to advise and support the mother. It was of great benefit that the child's main carer would not be changing and he had been observed to be very contended in her care.