Sunday, 17 November 2013

Mark and Kerry McDougall return to Fife

From the Daily Record 17 November 2013

"A WOMAN who fled Scotland four years ago after social workers claimed she was not smart enough to be a mum has returned home – only to face losing her two little boys. Kerry McDougall, 21, – who has mild learning difficulties – hit the headlines after social work chiefs banned her from marrying fiancé Mark McDougall, saying she wasn’t intelligent enough to understand the vows."

"Fearing their unborn son would be taken into care, the couple fled to Ireland. They have since married and, having been judged suitable parents by social services, gone on to have another son, Lochlan, two."

"The couple desperately missed family and friends in Fife. Two weeks ago – having been told by Scots social workers that they no longer had any concerns – they came back. But last night the couple told how within days of returning two social workers visited them to say they are reopening proceedings to see if their sons should be put under a protection order. Kerry said: "I can’t bear the thought of my boys being taken away. It’s making me ill."

"Mark, 30, who within days found work as a night warehouseman, said he was further angered because social workers told him he couldn’t take up the position – because he must be at home with Kerry and his sons 24 hours a day. "As soon as we got to the UK, I went looking for a job, anything to bring some money in – we definitely don’t want to be claiming benefits," he said. "But I was then told by social services I can’t take it."

"Incredibly, they say this is because they worried how Kerry would cope at night while the boys were asleep. I pointed out that when we lived in Ireland I was working every day in a hotel while Kerry was a full-time mum at home and we were all fine. "But although Kerry’s gran, aunts and uncles are also all on hand to help, they aren’t happy. They seem determined to ruin our lives."

"Dougie Dunlop, Fife Council’s head of children and families and criminal justice, said: "As with any family moving back to Fife, we will continue to meet with Kerry and Mark to discuss their circumstances so they receive the care and support they need."

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