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Nathan Loynes
Introduction: Key Points:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.

The purpose of the Act
Its relationship with the Children Act 2004
Key ...
The Children Act 1989
• There is no single piece of legislation that covers child
protection in the UK
• Children Act 1989...
The Children Act 1989
• Local authorities are charged with a duty to provide
―services for children in need , their famili...
Two Acts in Tandem
• Children Act 1989
• Children Act 2004
• Please remember ... It is the Children Act
and not the Childr...
Children Act 1989 - some
selected highlights!
•
•
•
•

Paramountcy principle
Welfare Checklist
S.17 Children in Need
S.47 ...
Paramountcy Principle
(Section 1)
• When a court determines any question
with respect to—
(a) the upbringing of a child; o...
The Welfare Checklist
(Section 1(3))
(a) The ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned
(considered in the l...
The ‗No Order‘ principle
(Section 1(5))
Where a court is considering whether or not
to make one or more orders under this ...
Defines ‗Parental
responsibility‘ (Section2)
• A married couple who have children
together both automatically have
parenta...
Parental responsibility
(Section2)
Where the parents are not married, the
unmarried father only has parental
responsibilit...
Parental responsibility
(Section2)
• Others, such as grandparents and
step-parents, do not have parental
responsibility. T...
Child In Need (section 17)
• He/she is unlikely to achieve or maintain or have
the opportunity of achieving or maintaining...
Local authority‘s duty to
investigate. (section 47)
Where a local authority have reasonable
cause to suspect that a child ...
Care and Supervision Orders
(Section 31)
• A ‗Care Order‘ is granted by the
court giving the Local Authority joint
parenta...
Care and Supervision Orders
(Section 31)
• A Supervision Order means that the
Local Authority has powers to
oversee the ch...
Emergency Protection Order
(EPO) (Section 44).
• Where there is immediate concern for the
welfare of a child an EPO can be...
Conclusion
• The Children Act 1989 was, and remains
to be the most comprehensive and
influential piece of legislation to g...
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The children act 1989

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The children act 1989

  1. 1. Nathan Loynes
  2. 2. Introduction: Key Points: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. The purpose of the Act Its relationship with the Children Act 2004 Key Principles of the Act The Welfare Checklist Parental Responsibility Children in Need (s.17) Duty to investigate significant harm (s.47) Care Orders, Supervision Orders, Emergency Protection Orders
  3. 3. The Children Act 1989 • There is no single piece of legislation that covers child protection in the UK • Children Act 1989 was introduced to reform and clarify the existing plethora of laws affecting children • Paramountcy Principle: a child‘s welfare is paramount when making any decisions about a child‘s upbringing (Child First) although every effort should be made to preserve the child‘s home and family links • Parental responsibility which is defined as ―the rights, duties, powers and responsibilities which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property‖ • It sets out in detail what local authorities and the courts should do to protect the welfare of children
  4. 4. The Children Act 1989 • Local authorities are charged with a duty to provide ―services for children in need , their families and others‖ Section 17 • Charges local authorities with the ―duty to investigate…if they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child who lives , or is found, in their area is suffering, or is likely to suffer significant harm Section 47 • The Children Act 1989 defines harm as ill treatment (including sexual abuse and non-physical forms of ill treatment) or the impairment of health ( physical or mental) or development (physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural) • Significant is not defined in the Act
  5. 5. Two Acts in Tandem • Children Act 1989 • Children Act 2004 • Please remember ... It is the Children Act and not the Children‘s Act! • The 1989 Children Act provided a unifying piece of legislation which deals with the welfare of children • Note the 2004 Act does not repeal (replace) the 1989 Act!
  6. 6. Children Act 1989 - some selected highlights! • • • • Paramountcy principle Welfare Checklist S.17 Children in Need S.47 Duty to investigate incidences of ‗Significant Harm‘ • Parental responsibility • Care Orders and Supervision orders • Private law orders known as ―Section 8‖ orders
  7. 7. Paramountcy Principle (Section 1) • When a court determines any question with respect to— (a) the upbringing of a child; or (b) the administration of a child‘s property or the application of any income arising from it, the child‘s welfare shall be the court‘s paramount consideration.
  8. 8. The Welfare Checklist (Section 1(3)) (a) The ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned (considered in the light of his age and understanding) (b) His physical, emotional and educational needs (c) The likely effect on him of any change in his circumstances (d) His age, sex, background and any characteristics of his which the court considers relevant (e) Any harm which he has suffered or is at risk of suffering (f) How capable each of his parents, and any other person in relation to whom the court considers the question to be relevant, is of meeting his needs (g) The range of powers available to the court under this Act in the proceedings in question.
  9. 9. The ‗No Order‘ principle (Section 1(5)) Where a court is considering whether or not to make one or more orders under this Act with respect to a child, it shall not make the order or any of the orders unless it considers that doing so would be better for the child than making no order at all.
  10. 10. Defines ‗Parental responsibility‘ (Section2) • A married couple who have children together both automatically have parental responsibility. Parental responsibility continues after divorce. • Mothers automatically have parental responsibility.
  11. 11. Parental responsibility (Section2) Where the parents are not married, the unmarried father only has parental responsibility if: – His name is registered on the birth certificate - this is the case for births registered after 1 December 2003. Fathers can re-register if their names have not been placed on the birth certificate before this date. – He later marries the mother. – Both parents have signed an authorised parental responsibility agreement. – He obtains a parental responsibility order from the court. – He obtains a residence order from the court. – He becomes the child's guardian.
  12. 12. Parental responsibility (Section2) • Others, such as grandparents and step-parents, do not have parental responsibility. They can acquire it by: • Being appointed as a guardian to care for a child if their parent dies. • Obtaining a residence order (Under Section 8) from the court for a child to live with them. • Adopting the child.
  13. 13. Child In Need (section 17) • He/she is unlikely to achieve or maintain or have the opportunity of achieving or maintaining a reasonable standard of health or development without the provision for him or her of services by the local authority OR • His/her health is likely to be significantly impaired or further impaired without the provision for him of such services OR • disabled
  14. 14. Local authority‘s duty to investigate. (section 47) Where a local authority have reasonable cause to suspect that a child who lives, or is found, in their area is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm, then the authority shall make such enquiries as they consider necessary to enable them to decide whether they should take any action to safeguard or promote the child‘s welfare.
  15. 15. Care and Supervision Orders (Section 31) • A ‗Care Order‘ is granted by the court giving the Local Authority joint parental responsibility with the parents. (Parents do not lose their PR) A care order will only be granted if a child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm. • Supervision Order means that the Local Authority has powers to oversee the child‘s welfare.
  16. 16. Care and Supervision Orders (Section 31) • A Supervision Order means that the Local Authority has powers to oversee the child‘s welfare. A Supervison Order is less intrusive/powerful than a Care Order.
  17. 17. Emergency Protection Order (EPO) (Section 44). • Where there is immediate concern for the welfare of a child an EPO can be applied for which lasts for 8 days. • The EPO might be considered the most powerful and potentially oppressive of the available orders. • Hence, for the court to grant an EPO (rather than a care order) the risk of Significant Harm must be immediate and acute.
  18. 18. Conclusion • The Children Act 1989 was, and remains to be the most comprehensive and influential piece of legislation to govern The State‘s relationship with families, and especially those families/children with welfare and protection needs. • Since the Act was implemented in October 1991, only a few amendments have occurred notably The Children Act 2004, and The Adoption and Children Act 2002

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