A & S (Children) v Lancashire County Council [2012] EWCA 1689 (Fam) 21.06.2012

The Court considered the case of two brothers A & S who had been subject to freeing orders for 10 years with no adoptive placement found. The boys suffered enormous placement instability moving between placements 77 and 96 times and were subject to abuse in at least 2 of these placements. A ultimately sought his own legal advice and issued an application to revoke the freeing order. Following investigation of the situation the Court declarations that the Local Authority and Independent Reviewing Officer acted incompatibly with the rights of A & S under the ECHR in 10 respects. The children’s claim for damages was transferred to the Queen’s Bench Division. The judgment will be distributed to relevant local authorities and designated Judges the Court noting that any child now remaining under a freeing order has been a statutory orphan for at least 6 years.

R (on the application of) v The Child and Family Court Advisory and Support Service [2012] EWCA Civ 853 29.06.2012

The CA considered applications for Judicial Review brought on behalf of four children in separate care cases on the basis that the failure to appoint a Guardian in a timely manner (or in one case at all) constituted a breach by Cafcass of a statutory duty and/or of the children’s rights under the ECHR. The Court while acknowledging the importance of early appointment did not accept that there was a duty owed to each individual child by Cafcass to promptly or immediately appoint a Guardian and dismissed the appeal.