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Beyond parental control – who is to blame?

Date:27 MAY 2024
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Clare Ciborowska Barrister 1 Crown Office Row (Brighton)

How does the court approach a case where it is said the child is suffering significant harm as a result of being beyond parental control?  There is conflict in the developing caselaw about when it is appropriate for the court to determine threshold is met on this basis. Does the court need to apportion blame? Is a finding that a child is beyond parental control a finding that blames the child for the situation they find themselves in? How are the two limbs of the threshold test linked and how does the court go about determining threshold in cases where there is a clear need for a protective order on welfare grounds but where the facts do not easily sit within a framework that encourages apportioning blame. This article will consider the caselaw in this area and will highlight that care orders are appropriate when the facts of the case don’t necessarily fit neatly into either limb of the threshold test but that overall the circumstances justify a finding that threshold is crossed. 



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