Amendments proposed to the Children and Adoption Bill [Lords], As Amended - continued House of Commons

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Sanctions against false allegations of violence or significant harm

   

Tim Loughton
Mrs Maria Miller
Mr Stewart Jackson
Jeremy Wright
Mr David Evennett

NC15

To move the following Clause:—

    'After section 10 of the Children Act 1989 (c. 41) insert—

          "10A   Sanctions against false allegations of violence or significant harm

          (1)   The Secretary of State may make regulations to require the court to act in accordance with subsection (2).

          (2)   Where during the course of contact proceedings—

          (a) a person makes an allegation of violence or significant harm against another person, and

          (b) the allegation is found by the court upon investigation to have been fabricated,

        the court must have regard to this finding when considering any representations by either person about contact arrangements with a child and may treat it as an aggravating factor when considering whether to make an order under sections 11J to 11N." '.


Extended family: desirability of contact

   

Tim Loughton
Mrs Maria Miller
Mr Stewart Jackson
Jeremy Wright
Mr David Evennett

NC16

To move the following Clause:—

    'After section 5 of the Children Act 1989 (c. 41) insert—

          "5A   Extended family: desirability of contact

          (1)   Where an order with respect to a child is made by the court the court must take into account the desirability of contact between the child and his extended family.

          (2)   Subsection (1) will not be taken into account by a court if it conflicts with any welfare requirements in Section 1."'.


Non-resident parents

   

Annette Brooke
Mark Williams

NC17

To move the following Clause:—

    'After section 1(3)(g) of the Children Act 1989 (c. 41) insert—

          "(h) the importance of sustaining a relationship between the child and a non-residential parent." '.


Statutory objectives

   

Mr David Kidney
Annette Brooke
Mark Williams

NC18

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   In discharging their respective functions in connection with any proceedings in which the court is considering whether to make provision about contact with a child—

      (a) the court;

      (b) the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service; and

      (c) the parties' legal representatives (if any)

    must, so far as is reasonably possible, act in a way that is compatible with the objectives set out in subsection (2).

    (2)   The objectives under subsection (1) are—

      (a) the welfare of the child;

      (b) reduction of the risk of harm;

      (c) reasonable contact; and

      (d) post separation parenting.

    (3)   The welfare of the child applies in all respects as set out in section 1 of the Children Act 1989.

    (4)   "Reduction of the risk of harm" means that the safety of children and other persons involved in contact arrangements should be assessed and planned for and the danger of violence should be minimised.

    (5)   "Reasonable contact" means the promotion of ongoing contact between a child and his parents and other family members to an extent that is reasonable having regard to the facts of the individual case.

    (6)   In having regard to post separation parenting the court, the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service and the parties' legal representatives (if any) shall promote the desirability of co-operation between parents in the making of arrangements for any child contact.

    (7)   In applying these objectives the court, the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service and the parties' legal representatives (if any) shall have regard to the contribution that mediation may make to achieving them.'.


Applications for contact orders (grandparents and family carers)

   

Mr David Kidney

NC19

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   In the event of an application to a court for an order permitting contact with a child by—

      (a) a grandparent of the child; or

      (b) a relative with whom the child has lived for a period of at least one year,

       the application may be made without the leave of the court.

    (2)   The period of one year mentioned in subsection (1) need not be continuous but must not have begun more than three years before, or ended more than three months before, the making of the application.

    (3)   The Secretary of State may by regulation amend section 10 of the Children Act 1989 in accordance with the provisions of subsections (1) and (2).'.


Risk assessments

   

Tim Loughton
Mrs Maria Miller
Mr Stewart Jackson
Jeremy Wright
Mr David Evennett

NC20

To move the following Clause:—

    'After section 16 of the Children Act 1989 (c.41) insert—

          "16A   Risk assessments

          (1)   This section applies to the following functions of officers of the Service or Welsh family proceedings officers—

          (a) any function in connection with family proceedings in which the court has power to make an order under this Part with respect to a child or in which a question with respect to such an order arises;

          (b) any function in connection with an order made by the court in such proceedings.

          (2)   If, in carrying out any function to which this section applies, an officer of the Service or a Welsh family proceedings officer is given reasonable grounds to suspect that the child concerned is at risk of significant harm, he must—

          (a) make a risk assessment in relation to the child, and

          (b) provide the risk assessment to the court.

          (3)   In respect of subsection (2), significant risk involves a risk—

          (a) to the child's physical safety, or

          (b) of sexual abuse.

          (4)   All risk assessments undertaken pursuant to subsection (2) shall proceed on the presumption that the child's interests are best served through reasonable contact with both parents unless good reason to the contrary is shown and the safety of a child is not an issue.

          (5)   A risk assessment, in relation to a child who is at risk of suffering harm of a particular sort, is an assessment of the risk of that harm being suffered by the child.

          (6)   In any risk assessment based upon the likelihood of recurrence of previous risks it shall be a requirement that no reliance is placed upon previous events or previous risks in the absence of a finding of fact that those events or risks actually occurred."'.


Recompense of those penalised by non-compliance with a contact order

   

Tim Loughton
Mrs Maria Miller
Mr Stewart Jackson
Jeremy Wright
Mr David Evennett

NC21

To move the following Clause:—

    'After section 11P of the Children Act 1989 insert—

          "11Q   Recompense of those penalised by non-compliance with a contact order

          (1)   This section applies—

          (a) in circumstances where a contact order has been made in regard to a child, and

          (b) where the actions of an individual bound by a contact order have resulted in another individual—

          (i) bound by the same contact order,

          (ii) falling under subsection (5), or

          (iii) applying under subsection (3),

          being deprived of the contact time specified in the contact order.

          (2)   A court may, pursuant to subsection (1), make an order granting additional contact time between the individual parent whose contact order has been breached and in respect of the child of whom the contact order was made.

          (3)   An order under subsection (2) may be made only on an application by the individual claiming to have been deprived of contact time.

          (4)   In determining an application made under subsection (3), the burden of proof shall rest on the individual claiming to have been deprived of contact time.

          (5)   The additional time awarded by the court shall be either—

          (a) equal to, or

          (b) more than

        the amount of time that the individual applying under subsection (3) has been deprived of.

          (6)   This section applies to a person if he is—

          (a) the person whose contact with the child concerned is provided for under the contact order, or

          (b) an individual subject to a condition imposed by the contact order.

          (7)   The court may not make an order under subsection (2) if it is of the opinion that the individual in breach had a reasonable excuse for failing to comply with the contact order.

          (8)   In exercising its powers under this section, a court shall have primary regard to the welfare of the child concerned."'.


Mediation pre-child contact order where the safety of the child is not an issue

   

Tim Loughton
Mrs Maria Miller
Mr Stewart Jackson
Jeremy Wright
Mr David Evennett

NC22

To move the following Clause:—

    'Before section 8 of the Children Act 1989 (c.41) insert—

          "7A   Mediation pre-child contact order

          (1)   The President of the Family Division shall—

          (a) keep a register of mediators,

          (b) make regulations about the qualifications and conduct required for registration as a mediator under this subsection.

          (2)   No person may act as a mediator for the purposes of this section unless he is on the register.

          (3)   Before the court makes an order under section 8 about contact in cases where the safety of the child is not an issue, it must give a direction requiring each party to attend a meeting with a mediator arranged in accordance with the direction for the purpose of—

          (a) enabling the mediator to explain the facilities and options open to the parents regarding parent education, parenting plans, dispute resolution and mediation in relation to disputes over child contact, and

          (b) enabling parents to resolve the dispute about contact by reaching an agreement for the child to have reasonable contact with both parents.

          (4)   A party's failure to attend the mediation must stand on their court record and may form part of the basis on which the court makes an order under section 8.

          (5)   The mediator must give a certificate and report to the court when, in his opinion, the parties have—

          (a) reached a satisfactory solution, or

          (b) have failed to reach a satisfactory solution and it is clear to the mediator that they will not.

        In either event, the parties may then continue with any application to the court for an order under section 8."'.



 
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Prepared 20 Jun 2006