Q&As

A care order was made four years ago placing a child with family members. An application has now been made to discharge the care order and replace it with a special guardianship order. Medical evidence submitted in support of the application is several years old, and the prospective special guardians have stated that there has been no change since the reports were prepared. Do time limits apply regarding medical evidence or in relation to Disclosure and Barring Service checks?

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Produced in partnership with Melissa Harrison of Coram Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 12/12/2019

The following Family Q&A Produced in partnership with Melissa Harrison of Coram Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A care order was made four years ago placing a child with family members. An application has now been made to discharge the care order and replace it with a special guardianship order. Medical evidence submitted in support of the application is several years old, and the prospective special guardians have stated that there has been no change since the reports were prepared. Do time limits apply regarding medical evidence or in relation to Disclosure and Barring Service checks?

The best way to approach this issue is to consider what information the court would need in order to be satisfied that:

  1. the care order can and should be discharged, and

  2. that a special guardianship order can be made in its stead

Regarding whether the care order can and should be discharged, this will be reliant upon the extent to which the issue that existed four years ago remains extant. Naturally, if the threshold criteria in section 31(2) of the Children Act 1989 is no longer satisfied, the care order can fall away, see Practice Notes: Public children—threshold criteria and Termination, discharge and variation of care and supervision orders. In Re R (Children), Cobb J gave guidance in relation to appli

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