A woman and her children were fleeing domestic violence. The woman’s husband was attempting to track the family down; each time he discovered their whereabouts the family moved to a different area.
The family eventually arrived in London and were referred to the local social services department. Social workers told the mother she was an unfit parent and that by moving she had made the family intentionally homeless. They therefore told her she was not eligible for housing. She was told that her children had to be placed into foster care.
An advice worker helped the mother to challenge this claim using the Human Rights Act. They argued that social services were not properly considering the rights of the woman and her children to respect for family life, protected by Article 8. Under this right, social services needed to consider the rights of the woman and her children and to take actions which are necessary and proportionate. As a result, the family were told that they could remain together and that the social services department would provide the deposit if they could secure private rented accommodation.
London Irish Women's Centre exists to empower, inspire, mobilise and celebrate women of Irish birth or descent in London. We aim to promote equality of opportunity for women of Irish birth or descent regardless of their social and economic status, colour, religious, political or sexual orientation; to enable women to recognise their own power and their ability to change their own lives; to achieve a positive identity and status for Irish women; and combat isolation and provide access to a safe and supportive community through taking a holistic approach to the needs of Irish women.