(Court of Appeal; Wilson LJ and Black J; 31 January 2008)
Because of grave concerns about two children living with the father, whose mental stability was in question, and who had threatened to kill himself and the children, the authority obtained a full care order, with no contact between the children and the father. The eldest child, aged 9, repeatedly ran away from foster care, made illicit telephone calls to the father, and refused to go to school. The father appealed the care order and applied for a residence order and a supervision order in relation to the eldest child.
In the context of care arrangements that had failed, the only viable option was return the child to the father's care. The court did not want the local authority to have a full care order referable to the child while the child was living with the father on a long-term basis. Accordingly, the full care order, which had failed, would be set aside, and the local authority would place the child with the father subject to an interim care order.