A major social work scandal has been hushed up on the orders of a judge, it was revealed yesterday.
Failures of social workers on an unprecedented scale have wrecked the lives of two young boys, one of whom now faces ‘a lifetime of institutional care’, according to a ruling by High Court judge Mr Justice Hayden.
Their errors are thought to have included giving approval after the boys’ mother began a relationship with a paedophile.
But the judge – who said he had never had to make such severe criticisms of the behaviour of social workers – has ruled that virtually no details of what happened may be made public. He ordered that the names of the social workers responsible for destroying the children’s lives must be kept secret, and even the identity of the council they work for should be suppressed, to preserve the children’s privacy.
The judge opted to shield the social workers and the council from public criticism even though the boys’ identities are already widely known through a crowdfunding campaign run by their mother, and one has even been pictured in national newspapers.
The Daily Mail has long campaigned against secret courts and has exposed a series of major scandals resulting from justice being conducted behind closed doors.
Among the few details of the latest case that may be published is that the mother of the boys raised funds to have the family home adapted so her disabled son could live there.
However, the mother broke up with the children’s father and began to live with a new boyfriend, who was a convicted paedophile.
Social workers are understood to have taken the side of the mother despite her relationship with a dangerous sex offender and to have ignored the protests of the father. Mr Justice Hayden has declined to publish parts of his ruling which detail the facts of the case.
However, he said publicly: ‘I do not think I have ever had to criticise a local authority to the extent that I have found it necessary to do in this case.’
He added that social workers ‘disregarded fundamental principles of safeguarding and child protection’.
The judge said the disabled boy wanted nothing more than to live at home, but now faces a life in institutions, able to visit his father only on occasional weekends and holidays.
His brother ‘fervently’ wanted him to come home and is now caught up in ‘a grieving process’ because of his absence.