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Welfare Checklist

The Welfare Checklist

The starting point for the court in any cases about children is Section 1 of the Children Act 1989.  It says that the child’s welfare is the court’s paramount consideration and it must have regard to the welfare checklist which says: 

Among the things the court must consider are:

  1. The ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child concerned (considered in light of their age and understanding);
  2. Their physical, emotional and educational needs;
  3. The likely effect on them of any change in their circumstances;
  4. Their age, sex, background and any characteristics of theirs which the court considers relevant;
  5. Any harm which they have suffered or is at risk of suffering;
  6. How capable each of their parents, and any other person in relation to whom the court considers the question to be relevant, is of meeting their needs; and
  7. The range of powers available to the court under the Children Act 1989 in the proceedings in question.

It says that delay is prejudicial to a child but the courts are completely ignoring that at the moment.

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