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Child At Home Under Care

The case JW (Child at Home under a Care Order) [2023] EWCA Civ 944

The Court of Appeal’s ruling in Re: JW (Child at Home under a Care Order) [2023] EWCA Civ 944 has brought significant changes to the practice of issuing care orders for children living at home.

This case emphasised that such orders should only be made in exceptional cases. Prior to the decision of the Court of Appeal in this case, the view was that care order were used to reunite families or keep them together post proceedings, thus granting the local authorities shared parental responsibilities (PR) under the guise of providing support. However, the ruling in this case highlights one important fact, which is that support will be aimed at safeguarding the child’s welfare and addressing any risks can often be effectively managed through a supervision order, without necessitating the transfer of PR to the local authority.

The supervision order, which imposes a duty on the local authority to “advise, assist and befriend” the child, allows parents to retain full responsibility, challenging the need for more intrusive care orders that were previously more common, particularly in Northern regions.

Legal professionals, courts, and local authorities are now urged to thoroughly evaluate the necessity of care orders, with a strong inclination towards supervision orders unless convincingly justified otherwise.

For families currently under care orders at home, this ruling necessitates an immediate review to determine whether these orders remain appropriate or if they should be discharged in light of potentially changed circumstances.

If you are a parent or a child under a care order at home, it’s crucial to reflect on the last review of the order’s necessity and to consider proactive steps, such as applying for its discharge, should there be a significant change in your circumstances.

Seeking expert legal advice can provide clarity and direction during this process. For personalised assistance and to explore your options, you can reach out to our solicitors in Enfield by calling 020 3417 3859 or emailing info@adeljibssolicitors.co.uk. Our commitment is to ensure your family’s best interests are upheld, informed by the latest legal precedents and practices.

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