This is the third volume of case reports we are publishing this year, bringing to 185 the total number of case reports on this website. Earlier reports are to be found in the Archive section.
They include a case where a judge, having heard that two young siblings whose foster care was breaking down were likely to be separated and that no suitable alternative had been found, recommended that a close relative, who was willing to care for the children but did not have room, would have an extension built by the CFA.
They also include a number where children suffered from severe mental health problems and the Child and Family Agency sought orders to detain them in residential care, though in one of those cases the court deemed an Emergency Care Order was not warranted for a teenager with very complex mental health needs, as her circumstances had not dramatically changed. They also include a case where five children, all under the age of six, were taken into care when they made allegations of having been seriously sexually and physically abused by their parents and others.
In three of the reported cases the parents agreed to long-term Care Orders for their children, and the court approved arrangements for access between parents and children and on-going reviews of the cases. In two of these cases the parents had special vulnerabilities, and in the third the child had very complex needs that the parents did not think they could meet. These cases illustrate the fact that Care Order applications often arise when parents have cognitive or mental health difficulties, or where children exhibit severe behavioural problems.
The reports also include two where a large number of cases were dealt with in part of a single family law day in courts in rural towns. In both several dozens of cases were listed on the one day, demonstrating the over-crowding that continues to exist in the family courts.