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Family Law

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Court of Protection Practice and Procedure Conference 2016

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26 NOV 2010

LOCAL AUTHORITY/ CONTACT: Westwater v Secretary of State for Justice [2010] EWHC 2403 (Admin)

(Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court); Ryder J; 24 August 2010)

The father was in prison for sexual offences against young family members. The prison assessed that contact between father and his 10 year old daughter should be limited to written correspondence. The mother agreed to this and therefore social services recommended it. The police recommended no contact.

The father sought judicial review of the decision, on basis that the mother was now willing for there to be telephone contact as well as written. The judge interpreted the guidance as follows: the governor must request an assessment in the form of a written report from children's services, which must be in accordance with Framework for the Assessment of Children in Need and their Families.  An initial assessment would usually suffice, but it must include an assessment of the child's needs, wishes and feelings.

Decision quashed. There had been no compliance with the statutory guidance, no assessment that analysed the risk and essential questions were not addressed at all.


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