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S.S.C.

Amendment Paper as at
Thursday 17th January 2002

SPECIAL STANDING COMMITTEE


ADOPTION AND CHILDREN BILL

NOTE

The Amendments have been arranged in accordance with the Order of the Committee [27th November].

NEW CLAUSES RELATING TO PART 2

Registration of private foster parents

   

Mr Jonathan R. Shaw
Mr Elfyn Llwyd
Mr Hilton Dawson

NC9

To move the following Clause:—

       'For section 69 of the 1989 Act (Power to prohibit private fostering) there is substituted—

    "69(1)   Every local authority shall keep a register of persons who act as private foster parents within their area.

    (2)   A local authority shall not register any person as a private foster parent unless it is satisfied that he is fit to act as a private foster parent.

    (3)   The Secretary of State shall by regulations make provision as to the considerations to which a local authority is to have regard in reaching a decision as to whether to register a person as a private foster parent.

    (4)   A local authority shall cancel the registration of any person under subsection (1) if:

      (a) it appears to them that the circumstances of the case are such that they would be justified in refusing to register that person as a private foster parent;

      (b) the care provided by that person for any privately fostered child is, in the opinion of the authority, inadequate having regard to the needs of that child; or

      (c) the premises in which any privately fostered child is or would be accommodated are not suitable for that purpose.

    (5)   No person shall act as a private foster parent unless he is registered under subsection (1).

    (6)   A person who contravenes subsection (5) shall be guilty of an offence.

    (7)   A person guilty of an offence under subsection (6) shall be liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months, or to a fine not exceeding level 5 on the standard scale, or to both.

    (8)   A person aggrieved by the refusal of a local authority to register him as a private foster parent may appeal to the court in accordance with paragraph 8 of Schedule 8 to this Act.".'.

    Question proposed, That the Clause be read a second time—(Mr Jonathan R. Shaw.)

Amendment of section 17 of the Children Act 1989
   

Margaret Moran
Ms Megg Munn
Mr Hilton Dawson
Mr Elfyn Llwyd

NC10

To move the following Clause:—

       '. In section 17 of the Children Act 1989 (provision of support for children and their families) after subsection (1) there is inserted—

      "(1A) In any case where a local authority have assessed a child as being a child in need they shall take such reasonable steps as are required to enable that need to be met.".'.


Amendment of Schedule 2 to the Children Act 1989
   

Margaret Moran
Ms Megg Munn
Mr Hilton Dawson
Mr Elfyn Llwyd

NC11

To move the following Clause:—

       '. In Schedule 2 to the Children Act 1989 (local authority support for children and families) after subsection (10) there is inserted—

      "(10A) (1) Where a local authority have, in assessing whether a child is a child in need, determined that he requires accommodation to enable him to live with his family, they shall provide that child (or a member of his family) with such assistance as may reasonably be required, if, in their opinion, it is necessary to do so in order to safeguard or promote his welfare.

      (2) Assistance required under subsection (1) may include—

      (a)   assistance by way of advice to the child or to a person having parental responsibility for him or caring for him;

      (b)   assistance by means of cash payments or loans to a person whom the local authority reasonably believe to be able to provide accommodation to the child (and to any person who might reasonably be expected to reside with him);

      (c)   the provision of accommodation (which shall include accommodation secured from another person).".'.


Parental contact with children after separation in cases involving violence or abuse

   

Margaret Moran
Ms Meg Munn
Mr Hilton Dawson
Mr Robert Walter

NC12

To move the following Clause:—

       'After section 8 in Part 2 of the Children Act 1989 there is inserted—

"8A Contact orders in cases involving family violence

    (1)   Where a court is considering whether to make a residence or contact order in favour of a prohibited person, the court will—

      (a) consider whether the child has suffered or is at risk of suffering harm as a result of abuse or neglect or through seeing or hearing ill-treatment of another person

      (b) assess the risks involved

      (c) take all reasonable steps to ensure the protection of the child.

    (2)   For the purposes of this section a person will be defined as a prohibited person if—

      (a) there is a reason to believe that he has caused or is likely to cause significant harm to a child; or

      (b) he is facing charges or has been convicted of a violent offence against any member of his family or a former spouse or cohabitee or associated person as defined by section 62 of the Family Law Act 1996; or

      (c) he is or the court considers he should be prohibited by a non-molestation order or an occupation order or a prohibited steps order or a restraining order or there is an undertaking not to commit acts of violence or intimidation.

    (3)   In considering such matters the standard of evidence applied by the court will be the simple balance of probabilities.

8B Section 8A: Supplementary

       In considering whether the child will be safe if contact or residence is granted to a prohibited person, the court shall, so far as is practicable, have regard to the following matters—

      (a) the nature and severity of the violence;

      (b) how recently the violence occurred;

      (c) the frequency of violence;

      (d) the risk of further violence occurring;

      (e) the physical or emotional harm caused to the child by the violence;

      (f) in relation to the prohibited person—

      (i)   if that person has Schedule one offences (1933) for neglect, physical injury or sexual harm to a child

      (ii)   is subject to current section 47 Children Act 1989 inquiries or has been in the past

      (iii) if that person is a banned person from employment with children according to the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2001

      (g) in relation to the child and the prohibited person—

      (i)   if the child is on the child protection register

      (ii)   if the child is subject to a protection order according to the Children Act 1989

      (iii)   if the child is subject to current section 47 Children Act 1989 inquiries or has been

      (h) whether the other party to the proceedings—

      (i)   considers that the child will be safe while the prohibited person has contact with or residence of the child

      (ii)   consents to the prohibited person having contact with or residence of the child;

      (i) the wishes of the child, if the child is able to express them, and having regard to the age and maturity of the child;

      (j) any steps taken by the prohibited person to prevent further violence occurring;

      (k) such further matters as the court considers relevant.

    (2)   A person who has suffered abuse is not regarded, for the purposes of this section, as having caused or allowed the child to see or hear the abuse, or, as the case may be, as having put the child, or allowed the child to be put, at risk of seeing or hearing abuse.".'.


   

Tim Loughton
Robert Walter
Henry Bellingham
Jonathan Djanogly
Julian Brazier

247

Clause     103,     page     53,     line     35,     leave out 'may' and insert 'must'.


   

Jacqui Smith

268

Schedule     4,     page     96,     line     22,     leave out from beginning to 'not' and insert 'Paragraph 36 of Schedule 3 does'.

   

Jacqui Smith

269

Schedule     4,     page     96,     line     29,     leave out '75' and insert '72'.

   

Jacqui Smith

270

Schedule     4,     page     96,     line     33,     leave out '79' and insert '76'.


   

Mr Robert Walter

274

Clause     125,     page     70,     line     4,     leave out subsection 4.

   

Mr Robert Walter

272

Clause     125,     page     70,     line     4,     leave out 'an Order in Council or to'.

   

Mr Robert Walter

273

Clause     125,     page     70,     line     4,     leave out from 'Council' to the end of line 5.


   

Mr Andrew Turner

11

Clause     126,     page     70,     line     21,     at end insert—

    '( )   In the case of an application for a placement order, for the variation or revocation of such an order, or for an adoption order, the rules must require that the court or adoption agency make available to the legal representatives of the parent or guardian of any child subject to such an application all records used by the court or adoption agency in relation to that proceeding.'.

   

Sandra Gidley

243

Clause     126,     page     70,     line     24,     after '(4)', insert 'and the child'.


   

Jacqui Smith

262

Clause     127,     page     71,     line     24,     at end insert—

    '( )   The power of the Registrar General to make regulations under Chapter 5 of Part 1 may, with the approval of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, be exercised so as to make—

      (a) any supplementary, incidental or consequential provision,

      (b) any transitory, transitional or saving provision,

       which the Registrar General considers necessary or expedient'.

 
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Prepared 17 Jan 2002