“(4) The fact that the local authority’s decision arose as a result of a second process (fostering approval) does not alter the general principles that apply. The Agency Decision Maker was not obliged to follow the recommendation of the panel. Nor was the Agency Decision Maker in relation to fostering approval responsible for the case put by the local authority to the court. The judge’s further investigations would have led her to better understand who was ultimately directing the local authority’s thinking and to achieve an effective engagement with them until the issue had been satisfactorily resolved.
59. For these reasons, I agreed that the appeal should be allowed and that the matter should be reheard by a different judge. The rehearing will be limited to a consideration of the grandmother’s position and not involve any reconsideration of the parents as carers.”
Actually, this was more of a Triple Threat match, with Judge versus Fostering Panel versus Agency Decision Maker, but you get the general idea.
Re T (A child) 2018 EWCA Civ 650
This is a Court of Appeal decision with Jackson LJ giving the lead judgment.
At final hearing, the LA sought Care Orders and Placement Orders with a plan of adoption. After hearing seven days of evidence, the Judge decided that on balance, the right legal framework for the child was to live with paternal grandmother under a Care Order. Before the orders could be made, however, the Judge needed to establish whether that was legally possible.
That’s because as a result of the way the Children Act 1989 is constructed, a Local Authority can only place a child who is the subject of a Care Order with (a) his or her parents OR (b) with a foster…
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