In re W (A Child) (Care Proceedings: Court’s Function) – WLR Daily

In re W (A Child) (Care Proceedings: Court’s Function) [2013] EWCA Civ 1227; [2013] WLR (D) 382

“Once a decision to institute care proceedings had been taken the court became the decision-maker until a full order was made. The local authority was required to provide the evidence to enable the judge to undertake the welfare and proportionality evaluations. That included a description of the services that were available and practicable for each placement option and each order being considered by the court. There should be no question of a local authority declining to file its evidence or proposed plans in response to the court’s evaluations. If a local authority made it clear that it would not implement a care plan option about which evidence had been given and which the judge preferred on welfare and proportionality grounds, then in a rare case it could be subjected to challenge in the High Court within the proceedings. In the unlikely event that a local authority declined to abide by a judge’s orders and directions in the future, the judge should inform the local authority’s monitoring officer to make a report to the authority with the intention that the authority was brought back into compliance.”

WLR Daily, 11th October 2013