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Making Sense of the Children Act 1989. 4th Edition

  • ID: 2250651
  • Book
  • July 2005
  • 350 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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What exactly are parental rights? What rights do children have? In what circumstances can children be removed from their family?

Now in its fourth edition, Making Sense of the Children Act 1989 addresses such questions. Written primarily for the non–lawyer, this practical and jargon–free text describes the social context within which the Act is used, considers the implications of the Act for policy and practice and also discusses its strengths and weaknesses.

Revised and updated, this edition takes full account of significant recent developments including the Human Rights Act 1998, The Laming Report on the Victoria Climbié case, the Adoption and Children Act 2002 and the Children Act 2004.

The Children Act 1989 remains a major piece of legislation for children, their families and for all of those professionals who work with them. This new edition of the best–selling and authoritative volume on the Children Act is therefore a must–have resource for practitioners in the social care field. It will also be of interest to students of related disciplines.

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About the Author.



1. Introduction.

Why the Children Act is different.

Public and private child law.

Background to the Act.

The scheme and style of the Children Act.

Amendments to the Act since 1989.

Rules, regulations and orders made under the Act.

The Children Act Guidance.

The Children Act Advisory Committee.

Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

2. Parental responsibility.

Parental responsibility: what it is and what it isn’t.

The initial allocation of parental responsibility.

The acquisition of parental responsibility.

The sharing of parental responsibility.

The content of parental responsibility.

The exercise of parental responsibility.

The extinguishment of parental responsibility.

The position of people who do not have parental responsibility.

3. Court orders in favour of parents.


Private law orders under the previous law.

The scheme of Part II of the Children Act.

When orders can be made.

Contact orders.

Residence orders.

Prohibited steps orders.

Specific issue orders.

Supplementary conditions attached to orders.

Family assistance orders.

The exercise of the court’s discretion.

Procedure and evidence.

Interim section 8 orders.

Welfare reports.

Separate representation of the child.

Section 8 orders and divorce.

The duration of section 8 orders.

Preventing further litigation.

4. Court orders in favour of non–parents.

The scope of the present chapter.

Section 8 orders in favour of non–parents.

Special rules for non–parents’ applications.

The effect of a section 8 order.

Applications by children for section 8 orders.

Applications after adoption.

Applications by local authorities and voluntary organizations.

Other aspects of non–parental applications for section 8 orders.

Orders without applications.

Special guardianship orders.

5. Local authority support for children and families.

The scope of the present chapter.

Children in need.

The provision of services for children and families.

Assessment of the needs of individual children.

The general duty of the local authority: section 17(1).

The specific duties and powers in Schedule 2.

Assistance in kind and assistance in cash.

Day care for the under–fives and supervision of schoolchildren.

Charges for local authority services.

Co–operation between authorities.


Part III in practice.

Child protection and children in need.

6. Accommodating children under section 20.

Accommodation as a support service.

The powers and duties under section 20.

The relationship with section 17 accommodation.

The parental veto.

Can the provision of accommodation be demanded?

Does the child have a say?

The position when accommodation is provided.

Removal from accommodation.

Help on leaving accommodation.

The acquisition of control by the authority.

The acquisition of control by individuals.

7. Compulsory intervention on child protection grounds.


The three stages of policy development.

Section 47 child protection investigations.

Enquiries before an investigation: the initial assessment.

The relationship between section 47 and the children in need provisions.

Investigations into alleged sexual abuse.

Investigations during private law proceedings.

Court–ordered investigations under section 37.

8. Emergency protection orders and child assessment orders.


The emergency protection order.

The child assessment order.

CAO or EPO?.

9. Police powers.

The power of the police to act of their own motion.

Police applications for emergency protection orders.

Criminal investigations.

The role of the police in assisting officials.

Police involvement in the recovery of abducted or missing children.

10. Care orders.


Applicants for a care order.

The children concerned.

The grounds for a care order.

When an application can be made.

The discretion to apply for a care order.

The processing of a care order application.

The role of the court.

The legal effect of a care order.

The duration of a care order.

The making of other orders on a care order application.

Care order or supervision order?

Care order or residence order?

Interim care orders.


11. Supervision orders.


Matters on which the rules coincide with those governing care orders.

The legal effect of a supervision order.

Matters which may not be regulated by an order.

The duration of a supervision order.

Variation of the supervision order.

Interim supervision orders.

Obstruction of the social worker.

Supervision order or care order?

12. Courts and appeals against court decisions.

The concurrent jurisdiction principle.

The subordinate provisions.

Questions arising under the Human Rights Act 1998

A family court?

Appeals against court decisions.

13. Welfare reports, children’s guardians and CAFCASS.


Welfare reports.

Children’s guardians.

Separate representation for children in private law cases.

Referrals to CAFCASS by independent reviewing officers.

In–court conciliation in private law cases.

Post–contact order follow–up.

14. Wardship and the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court.


The inherent jurisdiction of the High Court.

Public law cases: the effect of section 100.

Private law cases.

The decline of the inherent jurisdiction.

15. Adoption.


Non–agency adoptions.

Agency adoptions.

Making section 8 orders in adoption proceedings.

Applications for section 8 orders following adoption.

16. Local authority foster carers.

The statutory definition.

The decision to use fostering.

The Fostering Services Regulations 2002.

The National Minimum Standards for Fostering Services.

Foster carer recruitment.

Limit on number of children.

Complaints from foster carers.

Applications for section 8 orders.

Applications for an adoption order.

Applications for special guardianship.


Appendix: The Children Act 2004.



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Nick Allen
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