The shocking story of a three year old child in Essex, removed from her grandparents by social services and put into foster care, highlights serious issues not only with social services but family law, according to UKIP Deputy Chairman Suzanne Evans.
The child went to live with her natural grandparents after her mother experienced mental health problems. However social services in Essex have blocked the grandparents from adopting their grandchild due to their age, stating that the grandmother, 58, and grandfather, 70 are too old. The girl has now been placed into foster care.
Commenting on the situation, Suzanne Evans said "It's heartless, cruel, devastating for the child and her grandparents, and casts shame on a Government that claims to promote the family.
"All grandparents will read this story with a shiver of fear down their necks. If the worst happened and their own grandchildren found themselves without parents, would the state tear their grandchildren away from them?
"This government pretends it believes in the fundamental building block of society, the family, yet oversees a system that deliberately pulls families apart. The secrecy of decision making in these cases, the fact that grandparents cannot get legal aid to state their case in court, and the presumption that social workers and the state know best make our current system one to be feared rather than applauded. Most sinister of all in this case is that the mother, a woman who was mentally ill, was encouraged to sign away her child, without there being any legal representation. Such a signature would not be acceptable in any other walk of life or law, so how can it be acceptable here?
"Of course taking on a child in your 50's is going to be tough, and will require huge commitment and hard work, but ]this couple are happy to take on the task, because it is their grandchild. I'd want to do exactly the same in their shoes."
Ms Evans is urging an swift rethink of this case by the authorities.