The parents were dependent on drugs. The guardian ad litem proposed that the authority should fund treatment of the parents and child in a residential unit with assessment. The authority proposed a detoxification programme. The authority appealed an order following the guardian’s recommendation.
Held: The order was for treatment not assessment and therefore outside the court’s power under s38. The power under s38 was to allow an assessment to assist consideration of a final order. A programme might be an ‘assessment’ even if there were an ingredient of ancillary therapy but that a programme which was substantially therapeutic would not fall within section 38(6) even if it involved some element of assessment. Auld LJ said that a section 38(6) direction for therapy to be offered to a parent could be justified if ‘ . . therapy in the short term may assist in assessing whether further therapy may produce a relevant change for the better, and thus be a useful guide to the court when considering the future of the child at the full care stage.’
Thorpe LJ, Auld LJ
 EWCA Civ 1390,  2 FLR 632,  1 FCR 436,  Fam Law 615
Children Act 1989 38(6)
England and Wales
Cited – In the Matter of B (Minors) CA 22-Jul-1998
The court had directed that the parents of the child be offered therapeutic treatment which, it was hoped, would enable their child to be entrusted to their care. The local authority appealed.
Held: The appeal succeeded. Thorpe LJ said that . .
Cited – In 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 . .
Cited – Kent 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 . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 01 June 2021; Ref: scu.228157