Families torn apart
Parents with learning difficulties are
having their children taken into care because officials say they are
too intellectually slow to cope, an ITV News investigation has
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learning difficulties are having their children taken into care
because officials say they are too intellectually slow to cope, an
ITV News investigation has found.
In one case, a mother
with mild learning difficulties said her two children had been taken
away even though they had never been harmed and lived in a clean and
tidy house described as a loving home by community care workers.
Her husband has held down
a steady job for 20 years and the family enjoys the support of
relatives but still they face the prospect of losing their son and
The mother, who cannot be
named, said: "They just thought I was slow really. They sort of want
me to be what they want me to be really.
"I know they expect you
to be perfect but I think everyone's the same - we all find to
difficult to be a mum.
"It's not easy the first
year after having a baby."
heartbreaking experience does not appear to be an isolated case.
Recent research into UK
family court proceedings involving parents with an intellectual
disability found that 15 per cent of care applications involved a
parent with a learning difficulty.
Parents with such
disabilities and their children feature in care cases 60 times more
than would be expected from their numbers in the population.
The study also showed
that 75 per cent of children whose parents had a learning difficulty
were taken away from the family and 40 per cent of them were put up
Campaigners say such
parents need more support rather than having their children taken
The council involved in
the couple's case said it had to rely on the courts, in possession
of all the facts, to make the right decision in the best interests
of the child.
A decision on whether the
family will be parted forever - and the children adopted - could
come as soon as next month