Local authorities must support parents with learning difficulties

A recent case highlights obligations on local authorities to provide support and services to enable parents with learning difficulties to parent successfully.

Local authorities must support families where one or both parents have a learning disability

A recent case has confirmed that local authorities are obliged to support families where one or both parents have learning disabilities, but that this obligation does not extend to ‘substituted parenting’.

The case arose when a local authority had applied to take two children into care, where the mother had a learning disability requiring continued support to enable her to parent properly. The father was not disabled and was registered as the mother’s carer.

The parents had opposed the application to take their two younger children into care, and raised serious criticisms of the local authority’s failure to provide support to the mother to enable her to parent successfully.

The case highlighted the obligation of the local authority to provide adequate support to parents with learning disabilities, and in particular to provide training to enable the mother to parent successfully.

For more details of the case, including links to further information, please see this Family Law Week article.