Burnley mum fights to stop her son being taken to Scotland

Sarah and Garth Foulks of Florence Street in Burnley plea for their 13-year-old son not to move to Scotland with his foster parents.
Sarah and Garth Foulks of Florence Street in Burnley plea for their 13-year-old son not to move to Scotland with his foster parents.

A MOTHER is fighting to save her child from being taken to Scotland by his foster family.

Sarah Foulkes (33) was told by Social Services her son could be moved more than 350 miles away to Aberdeenshire.

Her teenage son is currently in foster care in Burnley but Sarah, who has bi-polar disorder, is allowed to visit him regularly.

However, the devastated mum fears the family’s contact with the child will suffer greatly if the six hour move is allowed to go ahead.

Now Sarah and her husband Garth, who live in South-West Burnley, are launching a legal battle to keep her son in the area.

She said: “It is totally wrong he should go.

“He has got no-one up there in Scotland. All his family are down here.

“Social Services have said my son wants to go to Scotland but we have not even had a chance to speak to him.”

Court proceedings could be held later this year which will determine the fate of her son.

She said: “We are in limbo. It has been absolute hell. Social Services are getting evidence together to take him to Scotland.

“If he goes to Scotland we will only be able to see him six times a year. We don’t want him to go as he has brothers and sisters here too.

“I have asked to talk to the head of Lancashire County Council about it.”

Ann Pennell, Lancashire County Council’s director with responsibility for children’s social care, said: “For confidentiality reasons we are unable to comment on individual cases.

“Removing children from their families is a sensitive and complex process and not one we undertake lightly, as we know it can be difficult and distressing for those involved.

“We take everyone’s views into account when decisions are made about placements, especially those of the child involved and their parent, and we do our best to ensure contact can be maintained where appropriate.

“It is a finely balanced decision but, in the end, we must act in the best interests of the child. Such decisions are reviewed by independent officers and, if necessary, the court.”

A spokesman for the British Association for Fostering and Adoption said: “The issue of long term planning for children in foster care is a complex issue. This complexity is often based on the sometimes competing needs of parents, carers and children.

“The needs of the child should be given priority, sometimes this means the needs of the birth parents who may have had their child removed from their care need to be seen in the context of what is best for the child. Where there is ongoing disagreement the birth parents may wish to seek legal advice.”