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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

26 SEP 2006

Placing children with family members

George Eddon, Local Authority Solicitor and Treasurer, Association of Lawyers for Children. Something like 70% of children who become involved in care proceedings do not return home. Instead, the court approves a plan for permanent care outside the immediate family. Increasingly, such children either are placed with members of the extended family such as grandparents (kinship care) or remain permanently with their existing short-term foster carers. Kinship care placements can in turn be implemented under the terms of a care order, a residence order or a special guardianship order. Each of these outcomes has its own legal framework, which affects a range of issues including:

  • the process of approving the arrangement;
  • the carer's entitlement to support from the local authority;
  • the local authority which should be designated under any care or supervision order.

The article sets out the implications of each of these options, highlights some of the inconsistencies and makes suggestions for reform. The position of those children who return home under a care order is included for comparison.

See November [2006] Fam Law for the full article.

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