Q&As

In proceedings for a child arrangements order, the whereabouts of both the parent with care of the child and the child are unknown. The parent with care is not co-operating with the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) for the preparation of a report ordered by the court under section 7 of the Children Act 1989. What action can be taken to ensure that the parent co-operates in being interviewed, and for the child to be seen, by Cafcass?

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Produced in partnership with Matthew Fletcher of 1 Garden Court Chambers
Published on LexisPSL on 23/09/2019

The following Family Q&A Produced in partnership with Matthew Fletcher of 1 Garden Court Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • In proceedings for a child arrangements order, the whereabouts of both the parent with care of the child and the child are unknown. The parent with care is not co-operating with the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) for the preparation of a report ordered by the court under section 7 of the Children Act 1989. What action can be taken to ensure that the parent co-operates in being interviewed, and for the child to be seen, by Cafcass?

It is not unknown for a parent with care to ‘disappear’. This can be for good reason, for example, fleeing domestic violence or abuse. Therefore, care needs to be taken when seeking to establish a child’s whereabouts so as to not be accused of harassment or to risk allegations of continuing to perpetrate abuse.

The legal route for identifying the whereabouts of a child is contained within section 33 of the Family Law Act 1986 (FLA 1986). This order is directed against any person whom the court ‘has reason to believe’ may have relevant information to disclose it to the court. This can include the police, a manager of a refuge or a friend or family member. An application for an order under section 8 of th

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