Permanence order applications continue to trouble the courts. In Edinburgh City Council v EAH [2018] SC EDIN 29; 2018 GWD 18-234 the court found the threshold test had been met in respect of the child’s parents, but the council failed to secure the order in circumstances where an aunt had not been properly considered as a viable kinship alternative.

In a voluminous judgment, the sheriff outlined the aunt’s credentials as a carer and questioned the lack of evidence about her unsuitability.

The difficulty in finding adopters to meet the Muslim child’s religious and cultural needs was also a relevant factor in arriving at the decision.

Noteworthy too is the sheriff’s attack on an expert psychologist’s evidence as “spurious psycho-babble”.