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Child and the Law - Essay Example

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Research Paper On The Powers and Duties of Local Authorities in relation to the Family Name: Order No: 781100 Subject: Law Name: Date: 2013 Professor: (A) Brief facts This involves a single mother, Ann Dawson aged 20 who begot two issues, namely, Gary and Debbie aged 4 and 2 respectively living in Somerfield…
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Child and the Law
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Download file to see previous pages (B) Brief Facts In this problem Julie and Keith Morgan got married and begot 3 children, namely, Carly, Robbie, and George aged 16, 13 and 10 respectively, also known to the local authority in Somerfield. Keith has been imprisoned severally for dealing in drugs and petty theft. Their children were found wondering and loitering in the city on a Saturday evening. Carly was drunk and is allegedly engaging in prostitution. Robbie and George are mixing with older boys-involved in criminal activities. The local Authority is concerned and wishes to protect and safeguard them. Issues 1. Whether the Social Services Department (local authority) has any legal authority in both scenarios? 2. If issue 1 is answered in the affirmative, what are the powers and duties of the Local authority? 3. What is the Forum and procedure in the circumstances? Law applicable a) The Adoption and Children’s Act, 2002 [cap 38] b) The Children’s Act, 1989 [Cap 41] c) The Child Care Act, 2006 [cap 21] d) The Children’s Act, 2004 [cap 31] e) The Children and Young Persons Act, 2008 [cap 23] f) The Local Services Act, 1970 [cap 72] g) Case law. Resolution of issues Issue No1: Yes. The local authority is vested with legal powers and duty to take care and protect any child from all forms of abuse “(Children’s Act, 2004, s.17 and 18).” A local authority is a “non- metropolitan organization” charged with the duty of protecting and safeguarding children who have been abandoned by their parents or who are being abused and neglected (Nigel and Douglas, 2007, P.693). Accordingly Section 1 and 7 of “the Local Authority Social Services Act (1970)”empowers Local authorities to protect and safeguard vulnerable children. Additionally, Section 17 and 18 of “the Children’s Act 2004)” and Section 31(10) and 47 of “the Children’s Act (1989)” empower an authority to investigate the vulnerability, neglect and abuse of children with the aim of gathering evidence that will assist the authority in discharging its duties. However, while investigating negligence and abuse of children, the authority should respect the rights of parents towards their children. Premafacie parents have rights and duties over their children and should not be deprived of that primary responsibility in what had been referred to as “family privatization” ( Nigel & Douglas, 2007, P. 477). For this reason, it’s the primary responsibility of the local authority to firstly promote the upbringing and safeguarding of children in cooperation with parents until they are unwilling to cooperate where upon the authority is empowered by law to take over that responsibility. Hence, it shall be the duty and power of the local authority to provide adequate care if children have been subjected to mental, physical and psychological impairment in their development. In doing so, regard should be given to “the child’s welfare as a paramount consideration (Children’s Act (1989, s.1 (1)).” The “welfare principle” is the litmus paper in protecting and safeguarding children from significant harm which the Social Services Department is obliged to fulfill. Welfare simply means the overall upbringing of children including the financial, moral, spiritual and general makeup of children. When the Local Authority has weighed the needs, wishes, risks, choices and all forms of circumstances surrounding the children as well as those of their parents, adherence to the “ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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