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Fiz and Tyrone - Can Social Services really remove their children?

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Anyone that watches soaps will know they cover a wide range of important topics and some people question the reality of it with it being a soap. In Coronation Street presently, Fiz and Tyrone have had a tough start to 2020 and have had their children removed and many are questioning if this is a true reflection of what would happen – and for the most part, it is.

For anyone that doesn’t watch Coronation Street Fiz and Tyrone are two characters who between them have two children. In recent episodes, we have seen a catalogue of events such as bruising to the daughter, albeit this is not as it seems, the daughter speaking out about abuse and the mother being arrested for possession of an illegal weapon. As a result, social services have become involved.

When the Social Workers first came to visit they say that they are investigating some allegations of abuse following Doctors raising concerns about bruising to one of the children which are then substantiated by the child when asked. Whilst social services investigate this, they want to take the children into foster care. A neighbour steps in and offers to have the children. Fiz and Tyrone eventually, after seeking legal advice, agree to allow the children to go into foster care. They provide their consent for this to happen. Legally, this is known as giving S20 consent.

Section 20 is a term that social workers use a lot. This is the legal framework that covers consent of parents to allow the Social Worker to take their children and accommodate them. This can be done by someone with Parental Responsibility for the child and is a voluntary agreement that can be withdrawn at any time. You do not have to give s20 consent at any time, it is your choice, but sometimes it is a way to resolve matters without attending Court. If you are ever faced with the offer of s20 consent always seek legal advice.  

Some might ask why the neighbour was ignored. This is because in reality an assessment of the neighbour would be needed called an Initial Viability Assessment. This would take between 4-6 weeks to complete and would be needed before a child can be placed with anyone that isn’t an approved foster carer already to ensure that there are no risks with the potential carer. In very rare situations an emergency placement may be granted but this is not common.

Here at Johnson Astills we have a dedicated Care Team. If you or anyone that you know are experiencing the same as Fiz and Tyrone please call them at our Leicester office on 0116 2554855 or our Loughborough office on 01509 610312.