A mum has spoken of her anger at social services in Ryedale amid claims they continue to “ignore a court order” allowing her to see her teenage daughter.
Karen Dishman, of Settrington, says she has the right to visit her 14-year-old daughter once a month following the court battle in April last year but has yet to see her at all in that time.
Her desperation to reunite her family has led her to take the fight to the social services department of North Yorkshire County Council by contacting MP Anne McIntosh, local councillors, and seeking advice from Ryedale’s Citizens Advice Bureau and Liberty, an organisation whick seeks to protect human rights. A complaint has also been lodged over the handling of the case with Ryedale District Council.
“It is just not progressing,” she said. “We have given them time and chances to try and resolve it. I’ve complained right the way up the ladder and nothing is happening.”
Her trauma began when Mrs Dishman fell ill nine years ago and asked social services in Doncaster to care for her two youngest children until she recovered.
After regaining full health a few months later, she expected to be reunited with her children, a twin boy and girl, but then became embroiled in a battle with the social service departments based in Doncaster and, later, Ryedale.
Karen said: “I fully agree they should have been with a carer for the few months that I was poorly, but they should have been returned to me when my doctor confirmed repeatedly my health was stable. They have destroyed my happy family life.”
Eventually she was able to scrape together enough cash to go to court and obtain a court order allowing her to see her children. But she claims social workers have failed to enforce this with her daughter’s carers – meaning the last time she saw her daughter was three years ago. Her son, who was in care, now lives with her after leaving his carers.
“I have lost a child and no amount of money can bring that back to me,” said Karen, who admits the issue is affecting her health. “My only crime was to be ill for a few months. I have had no apology and I can’t deal with the heartache any more.”
A council spokesman said it is policy not to comment on individual cases concerning children’s social care.