Care Orders at home, and abandoning search for missing children

“The child protection legislation and court procedures in this country are established to put children first. However, I do believe that there should be room for the court to consider in some cases, which I fully accept are rare, that the standard of proof to cross the threshold has to be higher than simply the balance of probabilities.”

Risk assessments should be banned and so should “punishment without crime” (snatching children from parents who have never broken the law)
Family court judges often proclaim that past actions can determine future risk and in this way they justify child snatching by the State..
These pseudo prophets should in that case chuck their robes and their wigs into the bin and spend their time in the betting shops backing favourites……
A police officer can arrest someone if they commit a crime but cannot arrest anyone because they might commit a crime next week or next year.
It is time that family court judges discarded their crystal balls and operated to criminal court standards of proof.


This is a decision by MacDonald J

Manchester City Council v D (Application for Permission Withdraw Proceedings after Abduction) [2021] EWHC 1191 (Fam) (11 May 2021) (

It was a case where three children who were at home with the parents under Interim Care Orders were removed to Pakistan by their parents, and all efforts to find them have been unsuccessful.

The Local Authority applied for leave to withdraw the care proceedings, and to have the children instead made wards of Court.

The Court noted in passing (but helpfully for my purposes, because it sets out the current judicial thinking on Care Orders at home) that the Guardian in the case had recommended that the children be made the subjects of Care Orders under a care plan of them remaining with the parents.

  1. The Local Authority undertook a comprehensive programme of assessment of the parents. The father was assessed to…

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