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The ICACU releases guidance on care cases with an international element

Date:28 JAN 2016

The International Child Abduction and Contact Unit (ICACU) has published a form and guidance notes where co-operation into and out of the jurisdiction under either Brussels IIa or under the 1996 Hague Convention is required in care proceedings.

A request for co-operation can be made where the issues are covered by Brussels IIa or the 1996 Hague Convention and the other country is a Member State of the European Union and/or the 1996 Hague Convention is in force between the other country and the UK. Examples of this can include where a Local Authority might need information in developing an appropriate care plan for a child with origins or family in another country or where the Authority needs to share information with another country.

The form is intended to help local authorities check their request is covered by the Regulation or Convention and to make sure the correct information is included to allow the ICACU to process their request.  It is hoped this will reduce delay and improve care planning for the child where a case has an international element, help local authorities formulate better requests for information and improve communication when sharing information about a child with another country.

The form can be completed by a local authority lawyer or social worker. 

The form and guidance notes can be accessed here:

The form should be read in conjunction with:

(1) The guidance published by the President of the Family Division about the ICACU’s role in these cases.

(2) Departmental advice published by the Department for Education for local authorities where a case has a cross border element:

(a) October 2012: Cross-border child protection cases: the 1996 Hague Convention

(b) January 2013: Advice on Placement of Looked After Children across Member States of the European Union

(c) July 2014: Working with foreign authorities: child protection cases and care orders: Departmental advice for local authorities, social workers, service managers and children’s services lawyers

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