Child taken into care over cottage repairs

A local social services department which forcibly took an eight-month-old girl into care because her parents were renovating their home has been reported to the police.

According to Swedish Television’s ABC programme, Nykvarn council was tipped off that the family was living in a neglected property. In fact, the property was their summer home and they were in the process of doing it up.

Henrik Arvidsson and his wife, who are usually based in Riga, were called to a meeting by Nykvarn council. But they declined, since they were only in the area temporarily.

Two days later, two people from social services turned up with five police officers. Under a law which allows the social services to react quickly in cases when a child is in danger, they took eight-month-old Beatrice into custody.

“It felt dreadful to have to let your child go,” Arvidsson told ABC.

“What struck me was how you really don’t stand a chance. Someone comes along with an accusation and the social services don’t even check the details – and then you’ve lost your child.”

Two weeks later a district court ruled that Beatrice faced no risk from being in the summer house and she was returned to her parents.

The council has now been reported to Sweden’s Justice Ombudsman as well as to the police.