CASE EXAMPLE Family Members. Subject child: Thomas UHLE (6years) Normally resides with Mother Currently placed with maternal grandparents Half-sibling: Anna BRASANO (9 years) Resides with maternal grandparents Mother: Maria BRASANO (28 years)
Subject child: Thomas UHLE (6years)
Normally resides with Mother
Currently placed with maternal grandparents
Half-sibling: Anna BRASANO (9 years)
Resides with maternal grandparents
Mother: Maria BRASANO (28 years)
Father of Thomas: Wayne UHLE (26 years)
Father of Anna: Unknown
Victorio and Franca BRASANO
• Thomas Uhle is aged 6 years and normally resides with his mother, Maria Brasano.
• His father is Wayne Uhle.
• Thomas’ parents never married and only cohabited for a period of six months.
• They separated prior to Thomas’ birth and Wayne has not seen Thomas since he was two years of age.
• Maria has an older child – Anna, aged 9 years – who has resided with Maria’s parents, Victorio and Franca Brasano, since infancy.
• Anna’s father is unknown.
• Mr and Mrs Brasano have residency of Anna through the Family Court.
• Maria has schizophrenia and has had periods of hospitalisation since her late teens – she is now 28 years of age.
• Maria is inconsistent in her use of medication and when unwell, her behaviour can present significant risks to Thomas’ physical and emotional wellbeing.
• For example, on three occasions in the past 18 months, Maria has abandoned her rented premises and all her possessions and has been found by Police wandering the streets with Thomas because she believes that there are people living in the walls and ceiling of her residence.
• On the last occasion, Maria was sexually and physically assaulted by unknown assailants in a public park late at night.
• Thomas was witness to the assault and was found in an extremely distressed state by Police.
• He was in a dirty and unkempt condition and told Police that he had not eaten for two days.
• Maria was hospitalised and then regulated and Thomas went to live with his grandparents for 3 weeks before Maria was released from hospital.
• Maria then disappeared with Thomas and was located interstate where she was again hospitalised.
• The interstate welfare authorities applied for a temporary protection order which they subsequently withdrew after Maria consented to her parents assuming care of Thomas.
• Mr and Mrs Brasano travelled interstate to collect Thomas and returned with him to Queensland.
• Mr and Mrs Brasano did not hear from their daughter for two months until they were contacted by Thomas’ school and advised that Maria was at the school and wanted to take Thomas home with her.
• Mr and Mrs Brasano contacted the Police who met them at the school.
• However, as Maria appeared well and the Brasanos had no custody or residence order in their favour, Police advised that they could not intervene and Thomas left with Maria.
• Ten days later Thomas telephoned his grandparents and advised that his mother had gone out the previous evening and had not yet returned home. He was calling on a neighbour’s mobile.
• The neighbour provided Mr and Mrs Brasano with Thomas’ location and they went to collect him.
• The following day Mr and Mrs Brasano reported Maria as missing and were advised by Police to contact the Department of Child Safety.
If the threshold is not met, a child concern report will be recorded.
Decision: The Waverley Child Safety Service Centre, Department of Child Safety, recorded a notification of significant harm (neglect) and risk of significant harm (emotional) to Thomas based on the information provided by the grandparents.
A child is placed away from home
The department is successful in obtaining a short term guardianship order to the chief executive on the basis that:
Long-term out of home care
An issue arises……………………………………………
• The Commissioner for Children, Young People and Child Guardian has exercised her discretion and issued a negative notice to Mr Brasano. Mr Brasano is advised that he has a right of review in the Children Services Tribunal against this decision.