In re G (a Child) (Interim Care order: Residential assessment): CA 27 Jan 2004

An elder child had died, and the local authority felt unable to exculpate either the father or the mother. On the birth of this child all three had been brought in for a residential assessment. First one then another extension was sought. The court found that this service had become therapeutic rather than for assessment, and said it had no standing to order and extension. The authority amended its care plan for the child to live with the grandparents.
Held: The correct approach was rather as in In re C, not In re M. ‘The essential question should always be, can what is sought be broadly classified as an assessment to enable the court to obtain the information necessary for its own decision?’ The judge did have standing to extend the assessment. It was still directed to providing the court with material on which it might make a decision. In this case the psychotherapeutic involvement was an essential part of the assessment. The authority had not substantiated its claims as to lack of funding, and had given the family no opportunity to challenge its decision.


Elizabeth Butler-Sloss President, Thorpe, Latham LJJ


Times 29-Jan-2004, Gazette 04-Mar-2004, [2004] EWCA Civ 24, [2004] 1 FLR 876




Children Act 1989 38(6), Human Rights Act 1998


England and Wales


DistinguishedIn Re M (Residential Assessment Directions) FD 23-Sep-1998
When ordering a local authority to pay the costs of residential assessment of mother and child, the court should allow for these factors. It must be assessment not treatment, in long term interests of the child, to enable court to decide and not . .
CitedIn Re C (A Minor) (Interim Care Order: Residential Assessment) HL 29-Nov-1996
The parents were suspected of causing the child non-accidental injury. The court wanted a residential assessment of the family, but the local authority refused, saying it would be too expensive, and would expose the child to continuing risk. The . .
DoubtedRe M (Residential Assessment Directions) CA 1997
The mother was seen to be unstable with a history of self harm, and with a violent association. Two older children were in care, and despite psychiatric evidence that she was improving the authority resisted a suggestion that there be a residential . .

Cited by:

Appeal fromKent County Council v G and others HL 24-Nov-2005
A residential assessment order had been made under the 1989 Act in care proceedings. When the centre recommended a second extension of the assessment, the council refused, saying that the true purpose was not the assessment of the child but the . .
CitedHolmes-Moorhouse v Richmond Upon Thames HL 4-Feb-2009
The father had been awarded shared residence for three children. He asked the local authority to provide appropriate housing.
Held: The authority’s appeal succeeded.
‘When any family court decides with whom the children of separated . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Children, Human Rights

Updated: 10 June 2022; Ref: scu.194062