Health and social services providers throughout Europe are increasingly aware of the possibility of litigation from service users arising from the application of a human rights perspective to public service provision. The substantial body of case law that has emerged from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is used regularly as the basis for this litigation at national and European levels. This paper presents an analysis of ECHR cases related to breaches of human rights that occurred when children were taken into care from families in which one or both parents had a diagnosed mental illness. The issues raised by these cases include the following: how to ensure that the right to family life is protected for adults with mental illnesses; how to ensure access and opportunities for parents to continue bonding with children in care; and how to avoid damaging children while giving time for a proper assessment of the care situation.
- human rights
- Euopean Court of Human Rights
- parents with mental illness