IN THE MATTER OF THE CHILDREN ACT 1989 and THE ADOPTION AND CHILDREN ACT 2002
AND IN THE MATTER OF CB (A CHILD)
B e f o r e :
| WEST SUSSEX COUNTY COUNCIL
- and –
CB by his Children's Guardian (3)
Crown Copyright ©
(i) Initial Assessment dated 27.10.11 – 06.11.11;
(ii) Core Assessment dated 02.08.12 – 28.09.12;
(iii) Core Assessment dated 07.12.12 – 12.02.13.
"A court may only make a care order or supervision order if it is satisfied (a) that the child concerned is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm and (b) that the harm, or likelihood of harm, is attributable to(i) the care given to the child, or likely to be given to him if the order were not made, not being what it would be reasonable to expect a parent to give to him; or
(ii) the child's being beyond parental control."
"only in exceptional circumstances and when motivated by overriding requirements pertaining to the child's welfare, in short, when nothing else will do. In many cases and particularly where the feared harm has not yet materialised and may never do so, it will be necessary to explore and attempt alternative solutions."
As Lord Neuberger observed at paragraph 77, making a child subject to a care order with a plan for adoption should be 'a last resort' where 'no other course was possible in her interests'.
The advantages of a placement order are many and obvious. Prospective adopters are required to submit themselves to a rigorous and very thorough assessment process over many months. Those who satisfy the selection criteria are ordinarily of the highest calibre. They may be confidently expected to provide extremely good parenting to any child who is matched with them in all areas of his / her development. They will protect LRP from harm of whatever kind. The overwhelming probability is that they will be able to provide her with the priceless gift of a happy, secure and stable childhood from which she will derive life-long advantages.