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A woman is awarded money for the way social services handled her case while she was a child (29 April 2013)

Date: 29/04/2013
Duncan Lewis, Legal News Solicitors, A woman is awarded money for the way social services handled her case while she was a child

In a child care gone wrong, the daughter of a prostitute won landmark £20,000 compensation after she sued social services for failing to take her into full time care when she was a child which would have protected her from her abusive mother.
Collette Elliot, 35, launched legal action against Birmingham social services last year which is seen as the first of its kind case in Britain.
Mrs Elliot, 35, from Erdington, Birmingham, somehow got hold of the records of her social services which showed officers had been aware of serious concerns about her mother Maureen Batchelor.
The record carried cautioning of Batchelor for soliciting, criminal damage and for failing to fee her daughter properly. Batchelor had died of brain tumour last August.
Social services were fist alerted about her mother’s behaviour when Mrs Elliott was just two months old, and were concerned enough to put her into care on two occasions before she was four.
The services seemed to have been aware of Batchelor’s criminal boyfriends, her brushes with the law and her occasional homelessness.
Mrs Elliott is now happily married had told Sunday Times that she would not let go the services that had left her in the care of an unfit parent when she was a vulnerable child. All those people who were wronged by the system should take her story as inspiration and come forward to get justice. Some children are not so lucky as she was she said.
She cited the case of Baby P who was so vulnerable and in unsafe environment while the social services had done nothing.
.the report that Elliott managed to get her hands on contained reports of health visitor where Batchelor was found feeding her daughter a diet of pasteurised milk, potatoes and gravy, and that the child was often taken to hospital with infections.
When she was 14 she had begged the Birmingham social services to put her back into foster care as she was bitten and hit by her mother but nothing was done.
A social workers recommendation for her to be sent to foster care and never returned to her mother was overruled. At the age of 18 Elliott was so disturbed by her childhood that she tried to kill herself. Subsequently she attempted suicide for 12 times over the next decade while she battled with clinical depression.
She finally requested access to her records two years ago after starting to see a psychiatrist. After a session with her psychiatrist she had decided to find out what had gone wrong in her childhood which prompted her to get access to the social services files to relating to her childhood.
Birmingham City Council has failed to admit any wrongdoing. A spokesman told the Times: 'Social work decisions are often very difficult when you're faced with judgements involving removing children from their parents.

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