Q&As

A child is subject to a supervision order made under section 31 of the Children Act 1989. The court allowed the mother to take the child out of the jurisdiction to another EU country for a relative's funeral. The mother is now refusing to return the child. What steps may be taken by the local authority to return the child to this jurisdiction?

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Produced in partnership with
Published on LexisPSL on 14/01/2020

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

  • A child is subject to a supervision order made under section 31 of the Children Act 1989. The court allowed the mother to take the child out of the jurisdiction to another EU country for a relative's funeral. The mother is now refusing to return the child. What steps may be taken by the local authority to return the child to this jurisdiction?

Once a child is subject to a supervision order under section 31 of the Children Act 1989 (ChA 1989), the child is placed in the care or supervision of a local authority. The purpose of such an order is so that the local authority can ‘advise, assist and befriend’ the child. There can be requirements, such as for certain activities to be done, however it does not give the local authority parental responsibility and, as such, it would not be able to potentially take action to return the child without first applying to the court for wardship or a care order.

The local authority could make an application to make the child a ward of the court under ChA 1989, s 100, which provides that no court shall exercise the High Court’s inherent jurisdiction with respect to children to, inter alia, require a child to be placed in the care of a local authority, save that under ChA 1989, s 100(4) leave may be granted if the court is satisfied that:

  1. the result which the authority wish to achieve could not be ac

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