(Court of Appeal; Thorpe, Moses, Hughes LJJ; 22 February 2012)
Care and placement orders made in respect of a number of children. Subsequent to the orders being made, over a period of five months, the mother demonstrated positive developments in her performance. The local authority agreed, in her case, to reverse its policy of moving the children into foster care, supported by the children's guardian. A real threat to the mother's continued good performance was the impending release of the father from custody. The father was a drug user and exceptionally dangerous adult in his relationship with the mother, who would introduce danger to the household and the children. The mother appealed against the care and placement order Agreement that there should be a formal expression of the authority's 'u-turn' and that necessary orders should be made.
Appeal allowed. The task of the court was to join in the general mood of optimism and use its powers to bless the prevention of, and save the burden of, a remission to the county court. There would have to be the closest vigilance to enable the local authority to intervene in the household both without and with notice. Contact orders would be required to take effect on the father's release along with protection and exclusion orders to ensure that he was absolutely prohibited from invading the security that the mother had created. Orders made to avoid passing the function to the county court.