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Law in social work - Essay Example

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In the following essay, it is proposed to review the relevant portions of the Children's Act 1989, with special reference to disturbing situations, when parents are unable or unavailable, to take care of their off springs. Certain aspects of such laws relating to handing over of the responsibilities of upbringing of such children to the care of local authorities, or public bodies, the adoption of children and also certain rules relating to the provision of foster homes to such children have also been discussed.
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Law in Social Work Introduction: In the following essay, it is proposed to review the relevant portions of the Children's Act 1989, with special reference to disturbing situations, when parents are unable or unavailable, to take care of their off springs. Certain aspects of such laws relating to handing over of the responsibilities of upbringing of such children to the care of local authorities, or public bodies, the adoption of children and also certain rules relating to the provision of foster homes to such children have also been discussed.
Under Section 31(1) of Part IV of the Children's Act 1989, the rules provide that upon the application from a local authority, or an authorized person, the court is empowered to make such orders as it deems fit and necessary. It takes into account the circumstances of the case, putting the care of the child for whom an application has been received, under the care of a chosen local authority or putting the child in the care of a chosen authorized person. Under Subsection 2 of the same proviso, it is stated that the court would only be willing to make a Care Order or a Supervisory Order, if it is convinced, inter alia, that the child is not being well looked after by its parents.
Regarding "Legal representation of children there have been a number of cases, concerning the ability of children or young persons to appoint guardians or solicitors to act on their behalf." (Brayne & Carr 2007, P. 80).
In this case we find that Janine's mother is not capable of taking good care of her, including her physical, intellectual, emotional social and behaviour development. Therefore, if needed, an application under Section 31 (1) may be made, to hand over the care of Janine, to the care of a local authority or other authorised person. (Care and supervision orders. 1989)
Rights of Althea under the community care legislatures
"Where the applicant is an adult with parental responsibility for a child in their care, there should be an assessment of whether the adult is 'destitute plus." (Guidance for local authorities. 2007).
In this case, Althea is widowed and, besides, she also has to care for her aged mother, Beatrice, and a small child, Janice. Therefore, she could rightfully claim for support for the care of her dependents. Janice also needs to be supported in order to ensure that she remains in her mother's care. Since the child also needs medical attention for her physical and psychological problems; she could well be placed in the "special care category." It is also necessary for the community care authorities to provide Janice with the required health and educational provisions as deemed necessary by attending health care professionals.
The predominant and underlying aspects, which need to be considered, while deciding matters concerning her upbringing, lie in the ultimate welfare of the child. It also considers, that any delay in making prognosis of the problem, would be likely to act as a potential detriment to the welfare of the child and her future. The ethical and human considerations are required to be taken into account for every analysis, and the likely effect of changes in tender minds of the child, upon shift of environment and circumstances, also needs to be pre-assessed. The opinion is that, when predictable betterment opportunities accrue to the child, by adopting this order, it is well within the realms of judicious decision making, to implement them rather than deprive the child of these betterments by not implementing them. (Care and supervision orders. 1989).
There is a need for "provision of alternative accommodation when children cannot be cared for in their own homes." (Johns 2007, P 4).
Further, it is also necessary to take into account the rules contained in Chapter 3: Placement for adoption under the adoption condition order as delineated under Section 18 (Placement for adoption by agencies), Section 19(Placing children with parental consent and Section 20 (advance Consent to adoption) of the Children Act 2002. (Placement for adoption and adoption orders. 2002).
It is well within the rights of the concerned agency (ies) to act within the ambit of prescribed law.The organization of social work needs to consider the aspects of Althea's mother, Beatrice, who consistently refuse to seek help from any social service organization .It also has to consider the fact that the child, Janice, is emotionally withdrawn, prone to bed-wetting, and constantly in need of her mother's company. Janice's mother suffers from depression and is unable to tend to the child's needs. Therefore, it is necessary that the child be sent to an approved home, in the care of local authority, or cared by foster parents or adoption centres which will be in the interest of the child's welfare. . "Fostering is a way of providing a family life for children who cannot live with their own parents." (British Association for Adoption & Fostering. 2007).
The question of fostering children is considered in Part IX of Section 66-69 of the Children Act 1989. This Act has been updated as the Children Act 2004 "The Act provides the legislative spine for the government's strategy for improving children's lives through the Every Child Matters agenda." (British Association for Adoption & Fostering. 2007).
Section 66 addresses to the primary needs of fostering. Under Section 67, the safety and welfare of the privately fostered children is the duty of every local authority and they need to take necessary steps, to safeguard the interests of these children in fostered settings. It is also necessary that local authorities inspect such premises in which the children are housed and make necessary arrangements for their safety and welfare. Section 69, delineates, among other things, that where any lacunae in the safety and welfare of the fostered children are noticed, it is well within the powers of the local authority, to take such necessary measures that could ensure their safety and welfare. (Private arrangements for fostering children. 1989). "Social workers are required to account for their actions and inactions to the government and the public within a framework of law which lays down their task, the scope of their work, their discretions, and their powers." (Brayne & Carr 2007, P. 8).

Works cited
BRAYNE, Hugh & CARR, Helen (2007). Law for the social workers. 9th ed. Oxford University Press. P. 80. [online]. Last accessed 5 November 2007 at:
BRAYNE, Hugh & CARR, Helen (2007). Law for the social workers. 9th ed.Oxford University Press. P. 8. [online]. Last accessed 13 November 2007 at:
British Association for Adoption & Fostering. (2007). Fostering. What is fostering. [online]. Last accessed 9 November 2007 at:
British Association for Adoption & Fostering. (2007). The Law. Children Act 2004 (England and Wales). [online]. Last accessed 9 November 2007 at:
Care and supervision orders. (1989). Part IV. Children Act 1989. [online]. Office of the Public Sector Information. Last accessed 5 November 2007 at:
Guidance for local authorities. (2007). cases involving the needs of the child. Last accessed 13 November 2007 at:
JOHNS, Robert (2007). Using the law in social work. Transforming social work practices. [online]. Last accessed 5 November 2007 at:
Placement for adoption and adoption orders. (2002). Placement of children by an adoption agency for adoption. [online]. Office of the Public Sector Information. Last accessed 5 November 2007 at:
Private arrangements for fostering children. (1989). Part IX. [online]. Office of Public Sector Information. Last accessed 5 November 2007 at: Read More
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