Principles for Care Applications

Re A (A Child) [2015] EWFC 11

The President reminds practitioners of the importance of three fundamental principles within s.31 Care and Supervision applications:

i) Fact-finding and proof. It is for the local authority to prove, on a balance of probabilities, the facts upon which it seeks to rely. Findings of fact must be based on evidence and not on suspicion or speculation (Re A (A Child) (No 2) [2011] EWCA Civ 12.

ii) The need to establish the link between facts relied upon in a threshold document and the conclusion that the child has suffered, or is at risk of suffering, significant harm.

iii) The temptation of social engineering and the need to recognise the inevitable diverse and unequal standards of parenting.