Analysing The Legal Options Open To Relatives Of Children Social Work Essay

A affinity attention agreement is an understanding that is normally made between the parent of the kid, the local authorization and a close comparative such as a grandparent or aunt on a short or long term footing, the affinity carer must be approved by Warwickshire Fostering Panel. Where the kid is accommodated by the local authorization that is frequently capable to an Interim Care Order the affinity understanding is reviewed under the Child in Need processs ( Warwickshire County Council 2009 ) .191

Kinship attention is the agreement made in understanding with the parent of the kid and a close comparative such as a grandparent or aunt on a short or long term footing. These agreements will be reviewed under the Child in Need processs ( Warwickshire County Council 2009 ) .

Kinship Foster attention is an agreement between the parent, the local authorization and the relation. In these state of affairss, the kid is accommodated by the local authorization, frequently capable to a Care or an Interim attention order and the comparative is approved as a surrogate carer by Warwickshire ‘s Fostering panel for the specific kid.

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The Children ‘s Act ( CA ) 1989 has a leaning towards the arrangement of a kid in the attention of the by a local authorization with a comparative, friend or other individual connected with them, unless that would non be operable or in line with the kid ‘s public assistance ( accessed 10/06/2010 ) The CA 1989 sets out a figure of responsibilities and duties for local governments. In subdivision 23 it states that local governments must supply adjustment and care for any kid whom they are looking after by puting him with household affinity carers if necessary and available topic to appraisal of their suitableness ( Herbert 1993 ) . Therefore the CA 1989 stipulates that the option of affinity attention should be examined in sing long-run options when puting a kid or immature individual. ( Warwickshire County Council 2009 ) .

The Children ‘s Act 1989 has a inclination where the kid in looked after by the local authorization to see the kid placed with a comparative, friend or important other ( accessed 16/01/2011 ) . 32

Kinship Foster carers are being progressively encouraged to look at Residence Orders and Special Guardianship Orders as a agency of untangling kids from the looked after system and holding more autonomy themselves as carers. However as we shall see there are built-in troubles for affinity carers in taking out legal orders on kids in their attention. In this assignment, I will foremost look at statute law around affinity attention in more item with an lineation of Warwickshire ‘s policies and processs about affinity attention. In the following subdivision I will foreground the case/assessment I was involved in and my specific legal functions and duties within this. Finally there will be an scrutiny of affinity attention statute law and how it relates to anti-oppressive pattern and the rights of service users and/or carers. Finally there will be a short rating and decision.

Specific piece of statute law and associated policy and process –

The LA must hold a clearly defined function in enabling the parent of the kid to hold some input in the attention agreements of their kid in conformity with subdivision 20 of the Children ‘s Act 1989. Where the local authorization topographic points kids in affinity attention agreement they besides must measure the affinity carer ( s ) on line with bing statute law that applies to unrelated Foster carers hence have a responsilities to guarantee that the affinity attention receive fiscal support in line with get oning out ordinances ( Warren-Adamson 2009 ) . If a kid looked after by the LA is placed with a household member or important other for a period transcending 6 hebdomads so that carer ( s ) so they should be approved as a Foster carer ( Warwickshire Council 2009 ) .123w

At the bosom of paths into affinity attention lies the legal duties of local governments as defined in statute law. The local authorization demands to be clear whether their engagement is “ enabling ” a parent to do agreements for their kid ‘s attention ( ie affinity attention ) or whether they are “ puting ” the kid with a comparative or friend which means that the kid is accommodated in conformity with S20 of the Children Act 1989 ( kinship foster attention ) ( Warren-Adamson 2009 ) . Where the local governments place such kids, duty lies with the local authorization to guarantee they assess the affinity carers in line with policies and processs which exist for unrelated Foster carers and fostering ordinances are imposed including the duty to financially back up under get oning out Regulations. Where a arrangement of a Looked After Child with a comparative or friend is proposed for a uninterrupted period of six hebdomads or more, the arrangement may merely go on after six hebdomads if the relation or friend is approved as a Foster carer ( Warwickshire County Council 2009 ) .

There are four chief types of attention agreements for affinity attention in England and Wales, which are chiefly determined by the legal position of the kid who has been accommodated by the local authorization.

In England and Wales there are four types of affinity attention these are determined by the legal position of the kid that is being accommodated.

Fostered with a household or friend –

This where the kid is capable to an Interim Care Order the tribunal would usually bespeak that any kinship carer be assessed and approved by Warwickshire Fostering panel.60w

Where a kid is capable to a Care Order or Interim Care Order, any possible affinity Foster carers would necessitate to be assessed and approved by Warwickshire ‘s Fostering Panel. This will non use to kids who are in household proceedings where there is no order as the kid can be placed following the viability appraisal with the understanding of the tribunal.

This besides applies where an ICO is made and the tribunal attaches a s38 ( 6 ) for a period of appraisal ( Warwickshire County Council 2009 ) . During this period the kid will be capable to statutory reappraisals and an appraisal for support including fiscal will be undertaken. In consequence it is a surrogate arrangement and will go on until the kid /ren is 18 and the carers will be entitled to Boarding out payments through Fostering ordinances. This could be seen as the least preferable option peculiarly for younger kids to stay in the attention system and the carers non holding any parental duty over the kid. However some Kinship carers may prefer to retain the support of societal workers and have the security of ongoing allowances for the child/ren.

Residence order

A Residence Order is an order that a tribunal can be asked to do in Family Proceedings under subdivision 8 Children Act 1989. This order lasts until a kid is 16 or 18 old ages old, and the carers must portion determination devising for the kid with the birth parent/s. The birth parents retain rights to travel back to tribunal to dispute the order.

A Residence order is settled by the tribunal and determines with whom the kid lives, it provides Parental Responsibility to the affinity carer for the life-time of the order.

The abode order normally lasts until the kid turns 16 old ages of age unless due to exceeding fortunes there is justifiable ground that the order be extended beyond the kid ‘s 16th birthday

Order aloows

Particular care order

Particular Guardianship orders where introduced in the the Adoption and Children Act 2002 it encourages flexibleness with respects to the lenghth of the arrangement. This order recognizes that long term fosterage or acceptance might non be an option and that this type of order gives parental duty until the kid is 18.

The Adoption and Children Act 2002 introduced Special Guardianship orders to advance flexibleness into considerations around attention of the kid in peculiar in supplying options for permanence for kids who are unable to populate with their parents and for whom acceptance would non be appropriate ( Farmer 2009 ) . Under the Adoption and Children Act 2002, carers including affinity can use for a Particular Guardianship Order in regard of the kid.

Populating with household and friends in web support –

This is frequently used ab initio as a short term step where the kid is accommodated under Section 20 of the Children ‘s Act 1989 but looked after by a household member or important other until an understanding has been reached by the birth parent and the local authorization.

This is where a kid is placed in understanding with a member of the close household. In this scenario a kid may hold been accommodated under sec 20 CA 1989 temporarily until a household relation comes frontward and understanding is reached between birth parent, comparative and the local authorization.

The Children and Young Persons Act 2008 farther encourages the usage of affinity Foster attention, so that where it promotes a kid ‘s public assistance, local governments will hold to give penchant to puting a kid with a comparative. This statute law builds on the CA 1989 and Adoption Act 2002 in advancing and widening affinity attention as the preferable option in attention proceedings. There is a demand under the Children and Young Persons Act 2008 for the local authorization to give penchant to placement with a surrogate parent who is a comparative, friend or other individual connected with the kid over other signifiers of arrangement ( Farmer 2009 ) . In footings of kid protection, household and friends foster attention is governed by the Fostering services ordinances ( 2002 ) and hence a household and friends foster arrangement is capable to the same cheques and monitoring processs as non comparative Foster arrangements.


There is a six hebdomad timescale to finish the affinity appraisal, the fosterage squad has the duty for finishing this within the timescale set out in line with the Fostering Regulation ‘s 2002. A viability appraisal Schedule 3 of the fosterage ordinance 2002 requires that there is a elaborate study complete with mentions be submitted to the Fostering Panel for blessing. ( Warwickshire Fostering Services 2002 ) .

The viability appraisal must pay close attending to the fortunes around the ground why the affinity agreement is needed. The appraisal includes the household to look at making a affinity agreement that will at best be accepatable to the kid, the local authorization shpuld see the kid extended household as an option to the mainstream fosterage system, when finishing the appraisal.

In Warwickshire, processs have been published for arrangements for looked after kids with household and friends/ affinity carers in line with Fostering Regulations 2002. ‘An assessment study detailing every bit far as is operable information required in Schedule 3 of the Fostering Regulations 2002, . ( Warwickshire Fostering Services 2004 p36 ) . It is so the duty of the fosterage squad to guarantee that a full application is completed within the clip graduated table required, and that the fostering panel is provided with all the necessary information and paperss in order to do a determination.

A viability appraisal should be undertaken in the first case on all prospective affinity carers offering a place to the kid. This appraisal should be undertaken jointly between the kid ‘s societal worker and the furthering societal worker. This allows for the designation of the most appropriate lucifer and enables possible jobs to be identified at an earlier phase. The viability appraisal can be a path into private proceedings such as Particular Guardianship or Residence Order

Where a kid is capable to a Care Order or Interim Care Order, any possible affinity Foster carers would necessitate to be assessed and approved by Warwickshire ‘s Fostering Panel. During this period the kid will be capable to statutory reappraisals and an appraisal for support including fiscal will be undertaken,

Some kids who are capable to interim care orders may hold, in the class of the proceedings, affinity carers identified.

Context of the case/situation and your specific legal functions and duties within this

The instance has been unfastened since June 2009, following Jane being taken to A & A ; E by her parents as they reported her being in hurting. A organic structure scan revealed that Jane had multiple breaks diagnosed as non-accidental. A scheme meeting and kid protection conference concluded that Jane is made topic of a kid protection program. A on the job understanding stated that any contact between Jane and her parents was to be supervised by maternal grandma. The maternal grandma moved to the country and now lives with the household and continues to follow the working understanding. Jane is still capable of a kid protection program, every bit good as LAC processs and is capable of an Interim attention order made in December 2009.

The Kinship Foster Care Assessment signifier is completed where a kid is looked after and capable to a statutory order. A Kinship attention Referral Form is passed to my furthering squad to measure the applier ‘s ability to run into the kid ‘s current and future demands ; a viability appraisal for exigency blessing of affinity Foster carers ( Reg 38 ) was undertaken by the kid ‘s societal worker and a determination made that farther appraisal was appropriate.

The tribunal directed they wanted initial affinity appraisals undertaken on maternal grandparents who was presently caring for Jane. I was allocated the affinity appraisal of the maternal grandparents, I was asked to set about an initial 6 hebdomad Kinship Assessment ; taking into history the Christmas period, the appraisal was submitted to Warwickshire Fostering Panel in January 2011 for indorsement and so later submitted to tribunal at the Finding of fact hearing.I recommended blessing of gransparents as carers under reg 38 and assessed them as suited for a full affinity appraisal to take topographic point if the tribunal desired at a ulterior day of the month.

When a kid needs to be a Looked After kid, the Family and Friends carers need to be assessed and approved to go Family and Friends Foster Carers ( Warwickshire County council 2009 ) . The Local Authority concluded a Finding of fact hearing at tribunal in April 2010 reasoning that Baby A had sustained hurts whilst in the attention of her parents which holds them both responsible in the absence of admittance of guilt. A Concluding Hearing is scheduled for January 2011 when full affinity appraisals will be submitted pending blessing at Warwickshire furthering panel.

The intent of the initial appraisal is to guarantee that the kid ‘s demands remain cardinal to the procedure in finding whether or non the kid should be placed with the applier to be assessed. Where it is decided that the kid should be placed on a fostering footing, the Kinship Foster Care Assessment ( Parts 1,2, & A ; 3 ) must be presented to the Warwickshire County Council Fostering Panel for blessing with the Child ‘s Matching Matrix.

Critical rating of the legal commissariats pulling on a relevant literature and research base

The legal commissariats do non at present put a rigorous demand on local governments in researching Kinship options with carers but instead makes explicit that is the preferable class of action. The proviso of a Family Group conference to help finding the kid ‘s best involvements within the household was non utilized in my assessment procedure.

In my appraisal the legal options open to Kinship carers did non sit good with my appliers who remained of the position that they wished Baby A to return to the attention of her parents and they were merely coming frontward reluctantly as an extra option. A good manner frontward would hold been the usage of a household group conference which is the recommended manner for affinity attention appraisals to be discussed and considered they are particularly appropriate for measuring affinity attention arrangement possibilities because they can supply a agency to prosecute wider household to take duty about kid and are found to hold worked in greater take-up of affinity attention ( Hunt 2004 ) .

Hunt et Al ( 2004 ) found that carers are frequently marginalized in the legal sphere despite the sum of contact they have with the child pre-proceedings. It is felt their voice is non heard but instead the position of the local authorization is given precedency which includes the organisation ‘s ain precedences above and beyond those of the kid or carers. The usage of household group conferences is still the exclusion instead than the regulation and they besides find the appraisal procedure intrusive and nerve-racking.

There are major fiscal deductions for Kinship carers. Grandparents as in my instance, frequently live in poorer adjustment and experience more fiscal adversity than non-related carers ( Colton et al 2008 ) . A major legal landmark in fiscal agreements for Kinship Foster attention was the ‘Munby opinion ‘ in 2002 which ruled it improper for local governments in the UK to handle Kinship carers otherwise from non-related carers. It was ruled discriminatory and to hold breached the kid ‘s right to household life under Article 8 of the European Convention on the Rights of the kid ( Colton et al 2008 ) . Therefore in Warwickshire affinity Foster carers are assessed, supervised and monitored under Fostering ordinances and have entree to the Boarding out allowances for the kids.

Harmonizing to Farmer & A ; Moyes ( 2008 ) Kinship attention occupies an uneasy place on the boundary between the public and private domains of lovingness and this leads to a state of affairs where some kin carers struggle to care for destitute kids with low degrees of support and fiscal aid. When carers had been assessed as surrogate carers, over clip societal workers tried difficult to carry them to use for Residence Orders. The consequence would be to stop societal work visits and to travel carers to a payment system that was discretional and set at lower rates than the fostering allowances. Some carers resisted Residence Orders because they felt the demand to keep societal services engagement in differences with the kids ‘s parents and to guarantee equal fiscal support. For other carers the attractive force of Residence Orders was that it was thought to normalize the household state of affairs.

The debut of Special Guardianship appears to offer both chances and hazards. Local governments committed to enabling pattern with blood-related carers may utilize it good. However, it could besides be used to curtail services for blood-related carers. At present kin carers ‘ committedness and willingness to go on against the odds benefits the kids they look after, but the good results for these kids are sometimes achieved at the disbursal of the blood-related carers themselves. It can be argued Local governments will advance Residence orders and Particular Guardianship as a agency of cut downing instance tonss and curtailing fiscal committedness to the attention of kids. Equally it can be seen to be in the best involvements of the kid non to hold the stigma of being a ‘looked after kid ‘ and that their affinity carer should be allowed to acquire on with lovingness for the kid without province intervention when assessed as suited.

In a treatment papers published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, ‘Friends and Family Care ‘ in 2002, issues were found with affinity attention agreements that hindered the development of this option to statutory Foster attention. These troubles were besides encountered in my appraisal, as there is uncertainness about how kinship carers are assessed, supported, trained and paid. This ambivalency about support agreements fed into my initial appraisal as I was non in a place to reply the inquiries directed at me by the prospective carer ( JRF 2002 ) . As the Joseph Rowntree research has discovered, kinship carers are improbable in many instances to desire to contend on a legal forepart with the parents. The deductions for this are that affinity carers are less likely to travel for Particular Guardianship Orders, given the restrictions of fiscal support and possible jobs with birth parents. The affinity carers may resent the invasion the appraisal procedure will imply into their lives by statutory services and feel they are being monitored and placed under surveillance ( JRF 2002 ) .

However based on results for kids, it could be argued that an addition in Particular Guardianship for illustration increases the likeliness of possible reunion and integrating with birth parents at some point. In unrelated Foster carer, kids are much more likely to travel down the path of permanence or acceptance therefore cut downing or eliminating any likeliness of reintegration within the birth household unit ( Argent 2009 ) . Argent believes we should travel off from the accent on permanence for kids within Kinship attention to stableness. Kinship attention does alter household relationships and can intend splits with divided truenesss peculiarly with the birth parents and grandparents. In the initial appraisal I conducted the grandparents were dying non to take away the birth parents legal rights to do determinations on their kid. They felt they could care for Baby A if necessary until at some point she can be rehabilitated back to her parents attention.

Evaluation of the possible or otherwise for the legal commissariats in inquiry to advance anti-oppressive pattern, including the rights of service users and/or carers

Make the procedures involved in assessment discriminate against certain household constructions, which through cultural or cultural influences are more unstable and less easy to purely supervise in footings of statutory cheques through the Criminal Records Bureau? The Children Act 1989 requires that local governments operate a policy of “ least intrusive intercession ” when working with kids and households in their country. However clearly measuring Kinship Foster carers requires adhering to Legislation, policy, criterions and processs we use on unrelated Foster carers who are prepared for the degree of invasion and appraisal of their lives. Argent ( 2009 ) high spots premises that are frequently made by societal work squads that households from minority cultural groups prefer to pull off affinity attention without outside aid or hold a great trade of trouble in accessing it. On the other manus Argent besides states that some minority cultural groups do hold a strong tradition of affinity attention which continues without resort to legal projects.

It can be argued that the legal commissariats for the long-run attention of kids have been extended through legal developments such as Mumby 2005 and Special Guardianship orders. Both developments give Kinship carers fiscal aid and support to supply the same criterion of attention you would anticipate with unrelated Foster carers. Local governments now have legal duties to go on to back up Kinship carers peculiarly financially which is a major development given historically that affinity carers have been some of the most deprived carers ( Farmer 2009 ) .

However research has demonstrated that really unsatisfactory arrangements with household and friends lasted significantly longer than those in unrelated attention ( Farmer & A ; Moyes 2008 ) . Some arrangements continued because there was small societal work monitoring and any referrals about trouble ( frequently from household members ) were disregarded. In other state of affairss, societal workers had allowed criterions to fall well below those that would hold been accepted for other kids ( Farmer & A ; Moyes 2008 ) . It would be really hard to take a kid from a affinity arrangement even if criterions were non what you would anticipate from mainstream Foster attention. There is a danger that kids ‘s rights will be compromised due to the increasing push for Kinship agreements perchance at the disbursal of their quality of life.

In decision the most of import facet of analyzing Kinship attention is outcomes for the kids affected. Therefore have the legal options for Kinship attention helped procure better long-run hereafters for the kids? Evidence suggests that kids who were placed with their grandparents were the least likely to see break when compared with other household or friends ( Hunt et al. , 2008 ) . Merely 8 per cent of the arrangements with grandparents disrupted compared with 27 per cent of those with aunts and uncles and 30 per cent of those with other relations and friends. From my appraisal it appeared that the grandparents had a existent committedness to their grandchild and were prepared to come frontward to guarantee she had the best options available if she could non populate with her parents.

Evidence besides seems to propose that arrangements with blood-related carers who had been approved as surrogate carers were significantly less likely to interrupt than those where they had non been approved. This could be because the blessing procedure weeded out blood-related carers with greater troubles and conversely because approved blood-related Foster arrangements received better degrees of support and fiscal aid. Therefore the demand to make appraisals lawfully could be seen to guarantee that there is supervising and rating of possible affinity carers ‘ capacity and consciousness.

Should at that place be more clearly defined statute law around fiscal aid for affinity carers in line with general benefit payments payments? . The research survey revealed that fiscal support for affinity carers was provided within rigorous local eligibility standards and bounds, in agreement with the local authorization ‘s ‘extended household and friends ‘ policy. Payments were usually made at around two and half times unemployment support degrees and payments were made from the ‘children in demand ‘ local authorization budget ( Farmer, Moyes 2005 ) . It appears local governments around the state for both affinity and unrelated Foster attention set really different payment thresholds which could be seen to be prejudiced and arbitrary.

However grounds suggests that affinity attention benefits kids as opposed to stranger attention and it seems statute law has played an active function in advancing the usage of kin attention. There now appears to be acknowledgment of the jobs Kinship Foster carers face in equilibrating their desire to care for the child/ren with pull offing relationships with birth parents, the alteration in life style that inevitably arises peculiarly for grandparents and the fiscal effects. It is to be hoped in an epoch of of all time increasing restraints on local authorization budgets that Kinship Foster carers continue to be supported in order to supply the same criterion of attention we expect of unrelated carers for kids.


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