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Maintaining sibling relationships in care and adoption

Date:18 SEP 2017
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Judith's article explores the importance that children in care place on maintaining family relationships particularly sibling relationships. It considers some of the statistics relating to siblings who are placed apart in care. Having reviewed statutory guidance for local authorities in relation to sibling separation it analyses the statutory provisions regarding contact for children in care. The article examines what practical steps there are to assist children in care with their contact arrangements and considers the role of the Independent Reviewing Officer. It goes on to explore the differences in the regimes for contact in the Children Act 1989 afforded to siblings in contrast with parents and the Adoption and Children Act 2002 at both the placement order and adoption order stage. Judith examines case law in respect of sibling contact and adoption in particular the issue of the imposition of contact on adopters and the extinction of Art 8 rights of birth family members upon adoption. She concludes by stressing the importance of sibling relationships in care proceedings.

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