mark municipality

Foster parents lose custody battle

Children who were separated from their foster families in a much-criticised case two years ago will not be allowed to return to their foster parents, despite the welfare authority saying that local social services were wrong in the way they removed the children in the first place.

Almost exactly two years ago two children, aged five and six, were taken from the families that were fostering them. The aim was to reunite them with their biological mother. The social services have now decided that the biological mother's home situation rules this out.

But following an appeal by the mother the social services will not return the children to the original foster family, but keep the children in their current foster home, who are better able to work with the biological mother.

Custody scandal in Mark

Events so far:

  • Autumn 2009: Mark municipality's social services decided to move two foster children, born 2004 and 2005. The children had lived almost all of their lives with the same foster family, but social services wanted to reunite them with their biological mother. There were many irregularities in the procedure, and the children were placed in several temporary homes.
  • Spring 2010: the inquiry by the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) was heavily critical of the Mark social services. A media storm broke, several bosses and politicians resigned, and all earlier cases had to be re-examined.
  • 18th May 2011: the Social Welfare Board (Socialnämnden) decided that the children should go back to the foster family that they had grown up in. This was appealed against by the biological mother.
  • 23rd June 2011: the Administrative Court (Förvaltningsrätt) decided that the children could not go back to the family, but must instead stay in their current foster home.
  • 5th July 2011: the Social Welfare Board (Socialnämnden) decided to appeal against the Administrative Court's decision. It was sent to the Jönköping appeals court.
  • 17th October: The appeals court in Jönköping decides that the children will stay in the foster home that they have stayed in since June 2010.
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