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Family Law Child Welfare Principle Parent Autonomy - Essay Example

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Family Law Child Welfare Principle and Parent’ Autonomy [Author] [Institution] The population of United Kingdom has been estimated over 62 million in 2011 and among these around 17.3% are children of 1-14 age groups. There is wide variation in the living standard and incomes of people across UK due to which the children are also living in varied conditions…
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Family Law Child Welfare Principle Parent Autonomy
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Download file to see previous pages UK has centuries’ long history of childcare legislation that began with the series of Poor Laws implemented from 16th to mid-20th century defining the powers and responsibilities of the children regarding childcare. These laws were followed by The Matrimonial Causes Act of 1857, Children Act 1948 and The Children and Young Persons Act 19692. The most comprehensive, integrated and far reaching reforms to the child care law were introduced in 1989 as The Children Act 1989. This consensus legislation combines public and private law provisions under one umbrella and the current child protection system is also based upon this law. The Children Act 1989 guides all the court proceedings and decisions regarding the matter of child upbringing or his property administration. The Children Act 1989 has decided the paramount considerations for the welfare of the child by clarifying that the welfare of child is supposed to be the first priority while making an order3. The law asserts that while making a decision the court has to consider the wishes and feelings of the child and efforts should be made to preserve the home and family links of the child. The core concept of parental responsibility was also defined under thus law. It has been explains that the parental responsibilities are "the rights, duties, powers and responsibilities which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property” (section 3). Since all the statuary laws have to be interpreted by the courts this legislation also guides the court while deciding different types of cases about child care and custody. This law possesses crucial importance within the England family laws because it determines the boundaries and authorities of the parents while dealing with the matters involving their children. The court is also supposed to use these guidelines and principles while making the decisions of the cases of the child custody and care. These principles also clarified that the welfare of child automatically prevails over the rights of all other family members including parents4. Though these principles have been regarded as milestone in the legislative history of childcare but it also raises the question about the balance between child welfare and the rights of other family members. It places certain responsibilities and duties upon the parents while the rights of the parents are not explicitly defined and explained. Prior to these laws and principles, the fathers were given the rights to make the decisions for their child rather than court5. The father was deemed as the natural guardian of the child eligible for making the decisions for his legitimate child unless any sign of danger or cruelty is exposed. However, the changes in the family laws and welfare principles changed the earlier approach and concerns towards the childcare. The interest of the child was introduced by Court of Chancery as justification to interfering with the rights of the father.6 After these decisions, a gradual change occurred within the welfare principles and by early 1890s the welfare of child evolved as a dominant matter. The legislations asset that the courts have to give importance to the wishes and feelings of the children as it is the core principle of child welfare. It raises the questi ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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