Yesterday, on 6 August 2020, the Government published the above White Paper. The purpose of the White Paper is to do the following: “Planning for the future, landmark reforms to speed up and modernise the planning system and get the country building”.
When a grandparent, or other person, is named in a Child Arrangements Order as someone who is to spend time with a child then the court can grant that person, irrespective of the fact they are not the parent of the child, Parental Responsibility for the child for the duration that the order has effect.
The benefits of obtaining Parental Responsibility include the right to make a future Children Act application without seeking leave of the court, an issue that has caused grandparents difficulty when the child’s carer seeks to obstruct contact.
In cases where social services have concerns regarding a child’s welfare every person who holds parental responsibility must be consulted before protective steps can be taken, including the removal of the child into foster care. This latter point will be of significant interest to grandparents if at a later stage a Local Authority issues Public Law Care proceedings as each person holding parental responsibility for the child is an automatic party to those proceedings and would be entitled to Legal Aid to be represented at court irrespective of means and merits.
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