A social worker has been praised by a High Court judge for effectively handling a radicalisation case, in which a 16-year-old girl attempted to flee the country and fly to Syria to join ISIS.

The young girl, referred to as B, lived in the London borough of Tower Hamlets and made the decision to travel to Syria after being exposed to material that was not particularly shocking, but rather provided information of a practical nature designed to support and perpetrate terrorist attacks.

Last December, the metropolitan police found and removed B from a flight to Syria just minutes before it was due to take off.

After this, a full assessment was carried out on her parents where it was revealed that they had contacted the police and social services in a bid to stop her and her siblings gaining access to extreme propaganda.

However, after counter-terrorism officers searched the family home in June of this year, they found electronic equipment that belonged to the girl, her parents and some of her siblings, containing videos of executions, beheadings and photos of corpses.

High Court judge Justice Hayden said that living in such an environment with access to propaganda was detrimental to B’s emotional welfare, comparing it to that experienced by those who have suffered sexual abuse.

It was decided that it was not safe for the girl to remain living in the household, especially since it was her parents who informed the police of her escape to Syria, meaning they were deemed a “protective force” until the video footage and photos were discovered.

The social worker who dealt with the case and cannot be named due to privacy issues, was praised for being well informed and highly understanding, taking a professional approach, establishing a strong relationship with police operations, and forging a solid relationship with B.

Justice Hayden said: “It is in the nature of the proceedings that come before this court, in particular, that the actions of social workers often fall to be scrutinised and are from time to time found to be wanting and deprecated in judgments. The opposite situation arises here.

“This social worker has, in my judgment, made an outstanding contribution to the case. All those who have encountered her, the lawyers, the police, the guardians, have been impressed both by the extent of her knowledge of this family and by her professionalism.”

Community Care – High Court judge praises social worker’s ‘outstanding contribution’ to radicalisation case

Did you know Virtual College has developed a course to give professionals awareness of the radicalisation process and a clear understanding of the Prevent Duty? To find out more about this Home Office approved course, click here.

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