Some of the primary legislation
Some of our recent notable cases
Re H-C (Children) (2014)
The appellants (P) appealed against a care order made by a judge in respect of their three children.
A court in the family justice system should not readily contemplate sending a case for a re-hearing unless it was established to be necessary on the facts of the case and there was no alternative. In the instant case, where the process before the magistrates and a circuit judge was flawed, the case was remitted for a re-hearing so that a clear set of factual findings could be made in relation to the neglect suffered by the children.
 EWCA Civ 536 21/03/2014
KS (by her litigation friend DCGM) v Bradford District Council (2014)
Case concerned the interpretation of ‘looked after children’ within s.22(1) Children Act 1989 and the entitlement of grandparent carer to local authority weekly fostering allowance to support the placement when the child had been removed from the care of her parents and placed with the maternal grandmother.
 EWHC 11 (Admin) 10/1/2014
Shu Shin Luh
Re E (A Child) (2013)
A mother appealed against adoption and care orders made in respect of her youngest child on the application of the respondent local authority. It was found that the judge’s decision to place a child for adoption had been wrong as he had not looked at the proportionality of the outcome against the evidence in the case.
 EWCA Civ 1614 29/10/2013. Reported at  Fam Law 272
London Borough of Islington v Al Alas and Wray (2012)
Represented a father accused of causing the death of his baby son by shaking. Both parents were acquitted of any wrong doing. Found that the cause of the baby’s death has actually been vitamin D deficiency, rickets, which led to infection, subdural haemorrhage (SDH), retinal haemorrhage and hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy. The baby, suffering from undiagnosed congenital rickets, therefore was prone to fractures and infections.
 EWHC 865 (Fam) 19/4/2012
Ian Peddie QC & Chris McWatters
A Local Authority v A & B & C & D (2011)
Care proceedings. Failure to follow guidance issued by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health left serious evidential gaps in the courts’ ability to assess the likelihood of sexual abuse in a pre-pubertal child. Need for the medical profession to follow the Guidance, in all but the most exceptional cases, re-stated.
 EWHC 231 (Fam) 11/2/2011
London Borough of Richmond v B & W & B & CB (2010)
Care proceedings. Issue was the extent to which hair strand testing was a valid or reliable means of establishing whether a parent has consumed alcohol and, if so, to what extent. The Court analysed the science in detail and emphasised the need for the exercise of considerable caution in the interpretation of the results and the reliance placed on them.
 EWHC 2903 (Fam) 12/11/2010. Reported at  1 FCR 401
London Borough of Brent v RM and others (2010)
Care proceedings relating to a 16-year-old girl with diagnosis of severe learning disability, severe autism and possibly Malignant Tourette’s Syndrome who was at risk of self-injury due to a raft of factors. She needed specialist attention and at least 2:1 nursing care. LA wanted a CO leaving her in residential placement costing £300,000 pa more than 250 miles from parents home. Proceedings transferred into Court of Protection jurisdiction thereby giving less control to LA and more control (beyond 18 years) to the court (and the parents).
 EWHC B31 (Fam) 15/10/2010. Reported at  1 FLR 1635.
Ian Peddie QC & Rachael Rowley-Fox
Re M (Children) (2009)
A father would be excluded from care proceedings as it was agreed he was a real risk to the safety of both the mother and the two children.
 EWHC 3172 (Fam) 7/12/2009. Reported at  1 FLR 1355
Sam Momtaz & Kelly Webb
Re W (Children) (2010)
Regarding the oral evidence of children and its place in care proceedings cases.
 EWCA Civ 57 9/2/2010. Reported at  1 FCR 365.
A Local Authority v J (2008)
Re. care orders and post adoption contact and competing welfare needs of siblings. The case considers consequences arising from mother’s failure of emotional care towards her children and her inability to co-operate with the local authority.
 EWCA 1484 24/6/2008. Reported at (2008) 2 FLR 1389.
Jo Delahunty QC and Amanda Meusz
B (Children) (2008)
Leading case on the standard of proof in care proceedings.
 UKHL 35 11/6/2008. Reported at (2008) WLR 1.
Jo Delahunty QC and Alison Grief
Re M (A Child)
A mother whose son was in care, should be able to apply for further assessment of the education of her son.
 EWCA Civ 1550 25/10/2007. Reported at (2008) 2 FLR 404.
London Borough of H and M and Anor (2006)
Adoption and the issues surrounding the placement of a child overseas.
 EWHC 1907 (Fam) 27/7/06
Re X; Barnet LBC v. Y and X (2006) (no link)
Care plans and the refusal of a local authority to fund placement. Court clash
CC Barnet 18/4/06. Reported at (2006) 2 FLR 998
Jo Delahunty QC
(1) Haringey LBC (2) Hackney LBC v Mrs S & Ors (2006) (no link)
Care arrangements for a child whose parent was suspected of assault and willful neglect in respect of ritual abuse
 EWHC 2001 27/7/06. Reported at  1 FLR 387.
Jo Delahunty QC
Re M (Children) (2005) (no link)
When making an interim care order in relation to a two-year old child, where it was possible to fix the final hearing for a further 10 months, the judge hadfailed to balance the long-term removal on the child with the risk of short-term harm if left with parents
 EWCA Civ 1594 3/11/05. Reported at (2006) 1 FLR 1043.
Re K (Children) (2004)
fresh evidence re case involving non-accidental injuries to children
 EWCA Civ 1181 27/8/04. Reported at  1 FLR 285
A Local Authority v C & 7 Ors (2003) (no link)
Placement of children with grandparents (unregistered as foster parents) as foster parents
 EWHC 2206 (Fam) 31/7/03
R (G) v Barnet LBC (2003)
Scope of duty to provide accommodation under s.17 Children Act 1989
 UKHL 57 23/10/03. Reported at  2 AC 208
R (Stewart) v Wandsworth LBC and others (2001) (no link)
Which of 3 local authorities responsible under Children Act 1989
 EWHC Admin 709 17/9/01 (2001) 4 CCLR 466
- Consultation on the review of contact arrangements for children in care (July 2012)
- Children Act 1989: Guidance and Regulations
- Practice Direction Public Law Proceedings Guide to Case Management: April 2010
- Guide to Public Law Orders under Children Act 1989
- Family Rights Group Advice Sheets for Families involved with social services
- High Court Family Division
- Care Demand Statistics (2012-2013)
- Child Protection Resource