SOCIAL workers on the Western Isles have been accused of bullying and making decisions without proper evidence during attempts to take an unborn baby into care after the mother gives birth.

A representative for the family involved in the case is demanding an investigation and has taken his complaint to the Scottish Government.

David Harris says he wants a probe into unsubstantiated claims by a senior social worker that the mother was spotted drinking.

He believes the member of staff is too close to a relative of the mother who wants the child taken into care.

His complaints also include allegations of serious errors in social work reports, lies being told at meetings about parents by certain staff, decisions being made before meetings take place and bullying to stop family representatives like himself being ready to represent families.

He said the decision to take away the child was made despite a majority of agencies at a case conference preferring use of the at-risk register rather than a Child Protection Order, which would mean removal of the child into care once born.

He said taking the baby, due in two months, from the mother and her new husband when their lives are now far more stable is "totally wrong".

Mr Harris said: "A midwife and a health worker were there who had no problem with the child going on the at-risk register.

"The police officer was concerned with the parents' history but admitted he had no facts to make a decision on the baby going into care and was still waiting for other reports."

He said the police officers had outlined the father's background but said there were only incidents in which no charges had been brought.

Mr Harris added: "Yet the social worker who chaired it disregarded the lack of information and went ahead anyway.

"Three people there voted for the child to be given to the parents and two went against.

"The chairwoman then made a totally unsubstantiated claim to have seen the mother drinking in Stornoway in the mornings – which was untrue. Without the proper facts, she unilaterally made a decision against the child being left with the parents.

"The decision was obviously made before we went into the room."

Mr Harris said the process of dealing with the complaint is taking too long with the child's birth weeks away."

"This baby will be born in nine weeks so dealing with the council under the usual complaints procedure would take too long.

"We do not have that much time to sort this out."

In a statement, the couple said: "We want this to be highlighted to prevent anyone else being mistreated as we have been."

Western Isles Council would not comment on what was an ongoing child protection case.

A spokesman added: "If the individual who is the advocate or the parents have such concerns they should raise them with the department or make a complaint."