Dear Sir or Madam,
December 2006 - Evidence shows children in care are being let down
and suffer more than those placed with relatives.
We are interested to see how the introduction of the PLO (Public
Law Outline) Welfare Checklist 2008 has altered the outcomes for
I would be grateful if under the FOIA you could advise how many
times your Local Authority has applied for care orders via the
Family Courts WITHOUT the Welfare checklist set out in section 1 of
the Children Act 1989 being completed. The completion of the
Welfare Checklist would confirm that extended family members had in
fact been contacted prior to any application for a care order.
Whoever signs the application for a care order is responsible for
ensuring that the Welfare checklist has been fully completed,
please state who within your authority holds this position.
‘The Government recognises the importance of family members taking
care of children who cannot be cared for by their parents. We know
that a child brought up by a family member benefits from living
with someone they already know and trust rather than a stranger.
The Children Act 1989 placed a duty on local authorities to support
the upbringing of children by their families wherever possible, and
that services should be provided to children in need and their
families to enable this to happen.
There is now an increased focus on the steps that must be taken
prior to any court proceedings. Unless it is necessary to take
emergency action to protect a child from immediate harm, the local
authority must undertake various steps before initiating care
proceedings. Welfare checklist set out in section 1 of the Children
Mrs L Taylor