In Re J (Minors) (Care: Care Plan): FD 1994

The judge had found that the threshold criteria in section 31 had been met, but the authority changed the care plan immediately before the final hearing. The guardian now appealed a final order, having proposed an interim order.
Held: Once the care order had been made, the court had no continuing direct role. The order should be made only when all the information was before it, but an interim order made instead of a final order could be justified only in exceptional circumstances, and the court should be wary of using the power to make interim orders to revive any control over the conduct of the care of the child. A court has a duty ‘carefully to scrutinise the care plan prepared by the local authority and to satisfy itself that the care plan is in the child’s interests.’ and ‘there are cases (of which this is one) in which the action which requires to be taken in the interests of children necessarily involves steps into the unknown provided the court is satisfied that the local authority is alert to the difficulties which may arise in the execution of the care plan, the function of the court is not to seek to oversee the plan but to entrust its execution to the local authority.’


Wall J


[1994] 1 FLR 253


Family Law Reform Act 1969 72, Children Act 1989 1 31 38


England and Wales

Cited by:

ApprovedRe CH (Care or Interim Care Order) 1998
CH suffered injury, and a care order was sought, with rehabilitation a possibility. The guardian wanted adoption. In the absence of a paediatric psychiatric report, the judge approved the care plan and gave directions that a child psychiatrist . .
CitedPlymouth City Council v HM Coroner for the County of Devon and Another Admn 27-May-2005
The local authority in whose care the deceased child had been held challenged a decision by the coroner not to limit his inquiry to the last few days of the child’s life. The coroner had decided that he had an obligation to conduct a wider enquiry . .
CitedCheshire County Council and others v DS (Father) and others CA 15-Mar-2007
The court granted an appeal in care proceedings, but examined the relationship between the court and local authorities. There had been a late change in the proposed care plan and an application by grandparents to be made party. Some in the . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 07 May 2022; Ref: scu.228026