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The Welfare Principle in the UK - Essay Example

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The Children Act 1989 The Children Act 1989 (CA89) was radical legislation that brought together different aspects of public and private law bearing on children into a single Act focused on the welfare of children.1 For the first time in legislation concerning children, the law took away the concept of ‘parental rights’ and substituted ‘parental responsibility’…
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The Welfare Principle in the UK
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Download file to see previous pages In which, the rights, powers, duties, responsibilities and authority of the parents are provided concerning their children. In addition to that, it enables the court to hear and make decisions about the welfare of the child. The Adoption and Children Act 2002 changed the law pertaining to the parental responsibility.2 For children born on or after 1 December 2003 [England and Wales], 4 May 2006 [Scotland] and15 April 2002 [Northern Ireland], both biological parents remain owners of the parental responsibility if they are registered on the birth certificate of the child [whether or not the parents are married]. Contact Order definition According to section 8(1) of the Children Act, a contact order means an order requiring the person with whom a child lives or is to live, to allow the child to visit or stay with the person named in the order, or for that person and the child otherwise to have contact with each other.3 However, in case of clash between the interests of the parents and the interests of children, the interests of the child will be preferred as was stated by the Court of Appeal in Re P (Contact: Supervision) [1996] 2FLR 314 at p.328. What are the interests of a child that the court is going to protect? For example, the child does not have only physical needs and educational needs, but also requires emotional support in order to grow naturally and complete the cycle of mental and physical growth. If parents are only able to satisfy the physical and education needs, but not the emotional one, it would not be easy for the court to serve and protect the interests of the child due to a clash between the different interests. Even in this case, if the court grants the contact order, the court compromises on the emotional needs of the child. On the other hand, if the court does not entertain the contact order request from the parents, the court again fails to properly serve the interests of the child. In order to ascertain the interests of the parents and the interests of the child, the court needs to consider the contact order factors that assist whether contact order should be made or not. They include: Above all, the court has to consider what they believe to be in the best interests of child and the welfare of the child remains the main priority. In this regard, the feelings and wishes of the child as far as can be ascertained and they must be considered in the light of the child’s mental level and understanding: There is no specific age bracket provided to ascertain the mental level of a child. If the child faces a very specific mental disorder and the doctors remain unsuccessful to highlight the impact of the mental disorder on the child’s main mind function, under that situation, the age consideration may become irrelevant. Even the court decision to issue a contact order will not be able to serve the main objective of the child welfare. The court is required to take into account the child’s emotional, physical and educational needs as well: For example, if parents want to nurture their child and they are financially in a position to fulfil the physical and educational needs of the child, but they are unable to satisfy the emotional needs of the child. There are no particular emotional needs mentioned in the Children Act 1989 that must be satisfied before granting a contact order. In addition, there are different types of emotions and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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