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Case law update: Re R [2018] EWFC 28

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In this case the Judge decided that an Interim Care Order (which is a temporary order) should only be used to allow the Court to safeguard the child’s welfare while it gathers the necessary information to make a decision about the child’s long-term future.

In Re R the Court ruled that an Interim Care Order was not appropriate, as the evidence pointed towards the fact that it would not be in the child’s best interests to return to her mother until the mother had made significant progress with her mental and physical wellbeing. The mother disagreed with this.

The Court agreed with the Local Authority and the Children’s Guardian (a specialist independent person, usually with a background in Social Work who is appointed to represent the child at Court) and granted a Full Care Order (which is a long term order) for the child to live in a specialist residential home.

When the Court considers what is in the child’s best interests (which is an important principle) it must refer to the Welfare checklist contained in section 1(3) of the Children Act 1989. The Welfare checklist invites the Court to consider the following factors:

  • the wishes and feelings of the child taking into account their age and understanding;
  • the child’s physical, emotional and educational needs;
  • the likely effect of any change upon the child;
  • the child’s age, sex, background and other characteristics that the Court feels is relevant;
  • any harm the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering;
  • the capability of each parent and/or any other person;
  • the range of powers available to the Court.

The Court should also consider other principles contained in the Children Act however, the interests of the child is deemed to be the most important one.

If you would like advice and assistance on a Care related matter please contact our Care Team at Emery Johnson Astills on 0116 255 4855.