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Who blinks first? Disputes between the court and the local authority in respect of the care plan and welfare of the child

Oct 29, 2019, 16:33 PM
This article attempts to highlight some common difficulties which arise, considering the recent authorities and beyond.
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Date : Oct 29, 2019, 00:00 AM
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Simon Wilkinson, Parklane Plowden Chambers

What happens when the court and the local authority disagree over the most appropriate care plan for the child? The President of the Family Division recently considered the jurisprudence and approved of the correct process which should be undertaken in Re T–S (Children: Care Proceedings) [2019] EWCA Civ 742, [2019] 2 FLR 760. This article attempts to highlight some common difficulties which arise, considering the recent authorities and beyond. Ultimately all professionals working within the family justice system are aiming for the same end point: orders and care plans which meet the needs of the children. In order to do this a process of mutual respect must be undertaken with each player knowing their roles and the roles and obligations of the other. The court is the ultimate arbiter of risk and welfare decisions during care proceedings and this must be respected. Within this piece the guidance from the senior courts on how this can best be achieved will be summarised in order to avoid situations in which a Mexican stand-off leads to an unedifying spectacle. 


The full article will be published in the November issue of Family Law

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