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T (A CHILD) v WAKEFIELD METROPOLITAN DISTRICT COUNCIL

On its proper construction, the Children Act 1989 Sch 3 para 6 did not permit the making of a supervision order of three years’ duration from the outset. Three years’ protection could only be provided by the making of at least two orders, the first a supervision order of 12 months’ duration and the second an order extending the first for a further two years. The court gave guidance concerning the practice to be followed in extending supervision orders.

1 April 2008

The appellant father (F) appealed against a decision of the judge that a supervision order was not confined to a maximum of 12 months. The respondent local authority had applied for a supervision order in respect of a three-year-old girl (T). Whilst the capacity of T’s parents to provide adequate parenting was not in question, she was at risk from a member of the extended family, namely her maternal grandmother’s partner who had a long criminal record for sexual offences. It was not disputed that he was and was likely to remain a danger to T, at least until T was better able to protect herself. The judge considered that a supervision order should be made, and he went on to consider its duration. He agreed with the local authority’s submission that T’s welfare required an extended order of up to three years, and made such an order. F sought permission to appeal, limited to the question of whether the judge had jurisdiction to make a supervision order of more than 12 months’...

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