South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures
South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures

5.1.17 Residence Order Policy

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

Outlines the statutory framework for Residence Orders

References

  • The Children Act 1989;
  • Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000;
  • The Adoption and Children Act 2002;
  • The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations Volume 1 Court Orders.

RELEVANT CHAPTERS

Application for Special Guardianship Orders Procedure

Permanence Planning Guidance

Residence Order Procedure


Contents

  1. Background
  2. Core Statutory Framework
  3. Aim of the Policy
  4. Policy Objectives
  5. Programme Measures
  6. Implementation Arrangements
  7. Monitoring and Evaluation
  8. Links with other Local Documents


1. Background

A Residence Order is an order under Section 8 of the Children Act 1989, which settles arrangements as to the person with whom a child will live.

A person in whose favour a Residence Order is made automatically acquires Parental Responsibility, but the order does not discharge the Parental Responsibility of others, such as the child's parents.

Where Parental Responsibility is shared, each person may act independently of the other when meeting that responsibility. Thus, although the making of a Residence Order may curb a parent's ability to act independently to the extent that in practice the day-to-day care of the child is largely controlled by the person with whom the child is living, at least when the child is with the non-resident party he or she may meet their full Parental Responsibility without the need to consult with the other person, except in respect of certain restrictions outlined below.

While the making of a Residence Order has the effect of conferring Parental Responsibility on the person to whom it is granted for the period while it remains in force, the degree of Parental Responsibility is limited to the extent that the person does not acquire the right to consent to adoption or to the making of an adoption order, or the right to appoint a guardian.

An effect of the making of a Residence Order is that no person may cause the child to be known by a new surname nor remove him/her from the United Kingdom without the written consent of every person who has Parental Responsibility for him/her or leave of the Court.

Residence Orders usually end at the point when the child reaches age 18 years. The granting of a Residence Order discharges a Care Order if one is in force.

A Court may attach directions to a Residence Order which:

  • Direct how it is to be carried out;
  • Impose conditions, which must be complied with;
  • Set out that it is to have effect for a specified period;
  • Include other provision as the Court considers appropriate in the circumstances.

The making of a Residence Order by a Court will be subject to the principle that no order shall be made unless positive benefit to the child can be demonstrated; in other words, unless a satisfactory outcome cannot be achieved without such an order.

A Local Authority cannot apply for, or be granted, a Residence Order, although the authority may wish to express a view to the Court about whether such an order would best serve a child's long-term interests.

When a child is in care, the Local Authority will be a respondent to a Residence Order application. When a child is accommodated (under Section 20 of The Children Act 1989), the Local Authority will not automatically be a party to the proceedings but is entitled to notice and may apply to be made a party.

Services for Children and Young People will encourage and support relatives and significant others to make applications for Residence Orders as a possible alternative to children being 'looked after' as long as this is consistent with the child's welfare and having regard to his/her wishes and feelings.

In doing so, the department acknowledges that Residence Orders provide, for some children, an appropriate permanency option in addition to Adoption and Special Guardianship and, therefore, are to be viewed similarly in terms of process, decision making and support.

This policy is to be read in conjunction with the Local Authority's policy on Permanency Planning. See Permanence Planning Guidance.


2. Core Statutory Framework

  • The Children Act 1989;
  • Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000;
  • The Adoption and Children Act 2002;
  • The Children Act 1989 Guidance and Regulations Volume 1 Court Orders.


3. Aim of the Policy

To ensure that Plymouth City Council supports the right of each child to experience a normal family life.

To ensure that every Child in Care must have a Permanence Plan by the date of his/her second Statutory Review regardless of whether they accommodated under section 20 or subject to proceedings.


4. Policy Objectives

To safeguard and promote the welfare of children with a Residence Order.

To provide the statutory framework for the development of Residence Order procedures.

To ensure compliance with the core statutory framework that affects this policy.


5. Programme Measures

Ensure all requests for a Residence Order are dealt with in a fair and timely manner.

Co-ordinate development of specific procedures that are grounded in good practice.


6. Implementation Arrangements

The Service Manager (Permanency and Placements) will oversee this policy and ensure all relevant new legislation is added to the document.


7. Monitoring and Evaluation

Successful delivery of this policy will be achieved:

  • By ensuring that all children have a Permanence Plan by their second review;
  • By supporting application from suitable family members to ensure that a Residence Order is the best permanency option for the child;
  • By ensuring that the child's wishes and feeling are met.


8. Links with other Local Documents

Residence Order Financial Support Handbook

End