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Public Children Notes

LPC Law Notes > Family Notes

This is an extract of our Public Children document, which we sell as part of our Family Notes collection written by the top tier of Cambridge And Oxilp And College Of Law students.

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Public Children

Part III CA 1989 - Local Authority support for children and families 1) Purpose of Part III CA 1989

To help children in 'need' through co-operation and prevention, before the need for care or supervision orders arises

2) The LA's duty under Part III

1) The LA has a duty to 'safeguard and promote the welfare of children within their area who are in need...by providing a range and level of services appropriate to those children's needs - s.17(1) Children Act (CA) 1989

2) A child in 'need' is defined as: - s.17(10) CA 1989

a) If he is unlikely to achieve or maintain, or have the opportunity of achieving a reasonable standard of health (physical and mental) or development without the provision for him of services by the local authority;

b) If his health or development is likely to be significantly impaired, or further impaired, without provision for him of such services; or

c) If he is disabled 3) 'Development' is defined as 'physical, intellectual, emotional, social and behavioural development'

3) What services may / should the LA provide dependent on the circumstances of the case?

1) Advice, guidance and counselling (Family Centre - FC)

2) Occupational, social and recreational activities (FC)

3) Travel assistance to enable the child in need and its family to access the LA's services

4) Day care services as appropriate to children under 5

5) Care or supervised activities for children at school, outside of school hours or during holidays

6) In extreme circumstances, direct financial support

7) Allowing the parents to have a short break by placing the children with the LA without the LA have a care order and therefore without the LA having PR - s.20 CA 1989

4) LA's duty to investigate and its process

1) Referral to the LA by:

a) Members of the public

b) Professionals (GPs, Health visitors, Teachers, Paediatricians, Dentists)

c) Legal profession (Police and Courts - s.37 CA 1989)

2) Investigation to ascertain if child: Schedule 2 Para 1(2) and s.47 CA a) Is in need; b) Is suffering significant harm; c) Is likely to suffer significant harm

a) Initial response - 1 day from referral

b) Initial assessment - 7 days from referral

c) Detailed core assessment - 35 days from referral

3) Non-interventionist steps the LA could take within Part III CA 1989

a) Family group case conference

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Decide services to be provided to child and family

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Possibly put in place a child protection plan

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Possibly place the child's name on the Child Protection Register

b) Legal planning meeting

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Outlines changes to occur and a time-scale for them

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If these do not occur, LA will send the family a "Notice of intention to Issue" prior to commencing court proceedings

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Kinship assessments

4) Interventionist steps the LA could take within Part IV and Part V only after Part III measures have failed

a) Care order - Part IV

b) Supervision order - Part IV

c) Emergency Protection Order - Part V

d) Child Assessment Order - Part V

Part IV CA 1989 - Care and supervision orders 1) Purpose of Part IV CA 1989

When the preventative provisions of Part III aren't enough, Part IV allows the LA to apply for care or supervision orders

2) Interim orders

1) Purpose

To make a decision about where a child should live until the final order is concluded or until the LA has investigated the child's circumstances under s.37 CA - s.38 CA 1989

2) Requirements

1) There are 'reasonable grounds for believing' that the Threshold criteria are satisfied; - s.38(2) CA 1989

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'Reasonable grounds for believing' is a lower threshold than the balance of probabilities needed for a full order
- Humberside County Council v B

Apply threshold criteria including defined terms; and - s.31(2) CA 1989

2) The interim care order will only be made if it is in the interests of the welfare of the children

3) Who can apply

The LA within which a child, aged less than 17 (or 16 if married) is ordinarily resident

4) Effect

Same effect as for full care order

5) Duration

1) Until the date provided by the court;

2) Until 8 weeks from when the order was made; or

3) Until the disposal of the main application (final order)

6) Contact

1) When the interim order is in place the LA should allow the child 'reasonable contact' with: - s.34(1) CA 1989

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If these parties are dissatisfied with the amount of contact provided by the LA they may apply to court for a contact order

a) Parents

b) Guardians

c) People with PR

2) LA should only refuse contact with these people listed in urgent cases and even then only for a maximum of 7 days, unless court orders further no contact

d) Any person the child lived with immediately before the order

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