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England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions >> B (A Child), Re  EWCA Civ 25 (14 January 2002)
Cite as:  2 FCR 367,  Fam Law 252,  1 FLR 545,  1 FLR 642,  EWCA Civ 25
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IN THE COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)
ON APPEAL FROM THE FAMILY DIVISION
(HIS HONOUR JUDGE TYLER (Sitting as a High Court Judge)
London WC2A 2LL
Monday 14 January 2002
B e f o r e :
LORD JUSTICE BUXTON
|IN THE MATTER OF|
|RE B (A CHILD)|
Smith Bernal Reporting Limited, 190 Fleet Street,
London EC4A 2AG
Tel: 020 7421 4040 Fax: 020 7831 8838
Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
appeared on behalf of the Appellant
MR ANDREW MCFARLANE QC and MR JOHN TUGHAN (Child Law, Cambridge CB4 1ZU) appeared on behalf of the Local Authority.
MS JANE HOYAL (Instructed by Messrs MacMillan Hamilton McCarney, Aldgate 2)
appeared on behalf of the Guardian ad Litem.
Crown Copyright ©
"'I would hope that I would not be asked to remove the mother from the child on evidence predating 23 October 2001. It would require fresh evidence for such removal'.
The judge then made it quite clear that it was very important that the consultation process between the parties and their representatives and the Local Authority is ongoing."
"I am satisfied with the greatest reluctance and the greatest ill will towards the [Local Authority] that I cannot make a second bad decision because they have shown me how to do it."
" 1. D be placed in the interim care of the London Borough until conclusion of the hearing listed on 11 February before Kirkwood J.
2. There be maximum possible contact between the parents and D at the home of the foster parent, details to be agreed or to be referred to Judge Tyrer.
3. .... there be a pre-residential assessment of the parents by the Legard Centre.
4. Leave to disclose case papers to Dr Freedman at the Portman Clinic for the purposes of her assessment.
5. Permission to the parents to appeal.
6. There be a stay on the interim care ... until noon on [the following day]."
(a) the report from the Legard Centre on the completion of their pre-residential assessment;
(b) the report from Dr Freedman;
(c) the evidence in respect of the mother's performance at Beacon Lodge; and
(d) all the remaining evidence.
"In our experience the crucial issue is maintaining a level of contact sufficient to ensure that attachment and bonding is promoted. Reflecting on past cases in which Legard have been involved, we find that bonding and attachment is promoted or maintained when there is contact at least 5 times a week for around 5 hours per day and when the parents are given the opportunity to be involved in the day to dare care of the child. So, for example, the parents are 'active' in the care of the child and feed and bath the child in an appropriate setting."
"Contact will be twice per week and supervised at a local family centre."
how was the Legard centre to carry out the assessment directed by paragraph (3)? Equally how was there to be maximum possible contact between the parents and D at the home of the foster parent when the judge had been informed that the only identified foster parent was not prepared to receive the parents into her home? Those inconsistencies have been addressed, to some extent, during the course of this hearing. Because Mr McFarlane, on instructions, has now said that the local authority would arrange contact six days a week for two hours per day at a family centre in the Newham Borough, which is reasonably close to Mrs S's home in Dagenham, He says that there would be every opportunity for the Legard Centre to carry out their pre-residential assessment in circumstances in which mother and baby were separated but were seeing each other daily in a family centre. In the end, Mr McFarlane says that the parents have failed to show that this additional placement at Beacon Lodge is a necessary element to enable the Legard Centre to carry out its work.
"The [Children] Act should be construed purposively so as to give effect to the underlying intentions of Parliament. As I have sought to demonstrate, the dividing line between the functions of the court on the one hand and the local authority on the other is that a child in interim care is subject to control of the local authority, the court having no power to interfere with the local authority's decision save in specified cases. The case where, despite that overall control, the court is to have power to intervene are set out, inter alia, in subsections (6) and (7). The purpose of subsection (6) is to enable the court to obtain the information necessary for its own decision, notwithstanding the control over the child which in all other respects rests with the local authority."