Extending Placement Orders to Special Guardianship Orders

Part of Children and Social Work Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee am 12:30 pm ar 12 Ionawr 2017.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

“In the Adoption and Children Act 2002, after section 21, insert—

“21A Placement orders: special guardianship orders

(1) In this section a placement order is an order made by the court authorising a local authority to place a child, whom that local authority has decided should be placed under a special guardianship order, with any prospective special guardian who may be identified by the authority.

(2) A “prospective special guardian” is a person who is entitled to apply for a special guardianship order with respect to a child under section 14A(5) of the Children Act 1989.

(3) The court may not make a placement order in respect of a child unless—

(a) the child is subject to a care order,

(b) the court is satisfied that the conditions in section 31(2) of the Children Act 1989 (conditions for making a care order) are met, or

(c) the child has no parent or guardian.

(4) The court may only make a placement order if the court is satisfied—

(a) that no other permanence order is appropriate and that only a special guardianship order will meet the needs of the child, and

(b) in the case of each parent or guardian of the child—

(i) that the parent or guardian has consented to the child being placed under a special guardianship order with the prospective special guardian identified by the local authority and has not withdrawn consent, or

(ii) that the parent’s or guardian’s consent should be dispensed with.

This subsection is subject to section 52 (parental etc consent).

(5) When making a decision in any proceedings where the court might make a placement order, the court must apply the welfare checklist under section 1(4) of this Act and must consider the whole range of powers available to it in the child’s case (whether under this Act or the Children Act 1989), including making no order.

(6) On the making of a placement order and until such an order is revoked—

(a) any existing child arrangement or supervision order ceases to have effect,

(b) no other order may be applied for, and

(c) a care order is suspended.

(7) A placement order continues in force until—

(a) it is revoked under section 24,

(b) a special guardianship order is made in respect of the child, or

(c) the child marries, forms a civil partnership or attains the age of 18 years.””—

This new clause would extend the provisions for placement orders under section 21 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 to special guardianship orders.