We often hear of children being taken into care, but the process by which this occurs is not well known. The Children Act 1989 lays down the circumstances under which it is appropriate for a child to be taken into care or a supervision order made. The necessary criteria, somewhat rephrased, are:
In order to determine whether these criteria are met, a thorough fact-finding exercise must first be carried out. One common difficulty arises when the proceedings to take a child into care are based on an expectation that the child may be harmed in the future, rather than on the basis of harm having been done to the child in the past. In such cases, the local authority is required to prepare a clear written analysis of the facts on which the authority’s decision to apply to take the child into care is based. This analysis should be divided into three stages:
There is more information on this topic on the CAFCASS website.
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