The Court of Appeal has agreed to revoke a care order made for a now five year-old child, after the local authority admitted his circumstances had changed.
In May 2012, a judge had granted ‘placement orders’ for the a brother and sister, aged 11 and five, taking them into care before permanent adoption arrangements were made. Welfare plans for the children prioritised placing them together, whether in adoption or foster care.
The mother quickly applied for permission to appeal but this did not reach the courts until September this year. The local authority noted that they had not been able to find a suitable placement for the two children in the year and four months since the order had been made. They also suggested that the children’s personalities had developed and a joint placement was no longer necessarily in their best interests. It would be “a particularly difficult parenting task to look after the two of them in the same home”, according to the judgement.
The authority accepted that the older child would be unlikely to find a foster home given her age, and so had her placement order revoked before the Court of Appeal hearing.
The authority now wished to only place only the youngest child for adoption, with the older sibling remaining in long term foster care. During the hearing the authority agreed that the original placement order made for the younger child should now be revoked, and a fresh application made, to be considered in the light of circumstances as they then stood.
Lord Justice McFarlane said this was “a pragmatic and child-centred outcome”.