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Case Law and Legal Summaries

Case Law summaries

Case Law and Legal Summaries: monthly overview and analysis of selected public law cases, highlighting implications and recommendations for practice.

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Case Law and Legal Summaries October 2017

This month we summarise case law relevant to care planning for children. Since Re B (a Child) [2003] UKSC 33, case law has refined the situations in which adoption should be the plan for a child and how evidence presented to court must address all “the options which are realistically possible” for long term care. We focus on Re B-S and subsequent case law which further explored the definition of ‘realistic options’, the use of the welfare checklist and the meaning of the term “nothing else will do”. This month’s issue includes summaries of:

  • Overall recommendations for practitioners involved in permanence planning for children following case law
  • Re B [2013] which brought to the forefront the expressions ‘nothing else will do’ and ‘last resort’ when practitioners are considering adoption for a child.
  • The main implications for practice of Re B-S [2013]
  • Re R (A child) [2014], exploring the landscape post Re B-S and clarification of the term ‘realistic options’
  • Re S (a Child) [2015] and clarity around ruling out unrealistic options without considering the welfare checklist. This appeal considered whether or not the judge was justified in ruling out the child’s paternal grandmother as a realistic option for the child’s long term care, despite the child previously spending a large proportion of their time in the grandmother’s care.
  • W (A Child) [2016] again emphasises the importance of a well –evidenced and analytical welfare checklist - professional assessment and evidence must address the welfare of a child throughout his/her lifetime. This case is an appeal by prospective adopters against a SGO granted in favour of paternal grandparents. The grandparents came forward after the child had already been placed with prospective adopters.

 

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