Lack of support claims dismissed in young father case

The social services department involved in the case of young British father Alfie Patten has dismissed claims that it had not given the young family enough support.

The social services department involved in the case of young British father Alfie Patten has dismissed claims that it had not given the young family enough support.

The county council said that Chantelle Steadman, 15, her daughter, one-week old Maisie, and the child's father Alfie, 13, had received "a package of support".

Baby-faced Alfie, who lives with his mother Nicola in Hailsham, was just 12 when baby Maisie was conceived, but has said he plans to stand by and support Chantelle with the baby.

She is believed to be living at Chantelle's home in Eastbourne, along with Chantelle's parents Penny and Steve.

In a statement released by the council, Matt Dunkley, director of children's services said: "We would not normally publicly discuss individual case information and it must be remembered there are three vulnerable young people involved in this case, all of whom are entitled to protection and to have these matters dealt with confidentially.

"However, given the exceptional circumstances of this case, we do understand the need for reassurance.

"It is completely wrong to suggest social workers are doing nothing to support the families and young people involved in this case. In cases like this it is normal practice to assess the needs of the parents and the unborn child before the birth and to revisit those assessments once the child has been born to look at what further support might be needed.

"In this case a package of support was agreed before the birth including enhanced involvement from health visitors and family outreach workers."

Mr Dunkley added that social workers and health visitors were due to visit both families again to carry out further detailed assessments of the three children.

Both Chantelle and Alfie have been kept away from the media glare since news of their situation provoked a fierce political debate over the high rate of teenage pregnancies in the UK and the sexualisation of children.

Two other boys have come forward claiming they could be the child's father. Richard Goodsell, 16, and Tyler Barker, 14, told the News of the World they had slept with Chantelle at about the time she became pregnant, and alleged that she also had several other sexual partners.

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox