Q&As

In private children proceedings, a report under section 37 of the Children Act 1989 is to be sought, however, one of the parents has made a successful complaint against the local authority (LA) in question, perceives bias and does not wish that the LA prepare the report. Can the report be prepared by someone other than the LA, for example the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, an independent social worker or another LA?

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Produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 21/06/2019

The following Family Q&A produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • In private children proceedings, a report under section 37 of the Children Act 1989 is to be sought, however, one of the parents has made a successful complaint against the local authority (LA) in question, perceives bias and does not wish that the LA prepare the report. Can the report be prepared by someone other than the LA, for example the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, an independent social worker or another LA?

This responds considers who can prepare a report directed under section 37 of the Children Act 1989 (ChA 1989).

ChA 1989, s 37 provides that where, in any family proceedings in which a question arises in respect of the welfare of any child, it appears to the court that it may be appropriate for a care or supervision order to be made with respect to the child, the court may direct the ‘appropriate authority’ to undertake an investigation of the child’s circumstances.

ChA 1989, s 37(5) provides that the local authority (LA) named in the direction for the report must be the authority in whose area the child is ordinarily resident, or where the child is not ordinarily resident in the area of an L

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