The Act places a duty on local authorities to identify children in need, their welfare must be safeguarded and enhanced, the welfare of children must be the overriding factor when courts make decisions concerning them, and that decisions concerning questions with regards to children, should be expediated, as delays could prejudice their welfare. Before decisions are made by courts, they must go through a checklist of factors. Court orders should only be made under The Children’s Act 1989, where is has been shown that it will benefit the child’s interest. The legislation aims to ensure the protection of children that may be suffering, or those that may come to harm, local authorities are given duties and power for the provision of services to families and children.
Family autonomy is defined through parental responsibility, which is the main focus rather than parental rights, which have been discarded. Children have the right be a separate party, independent from parents in court proceedings. Local authorities in conjunction with schools and the family must work together to safeguard the welfare of children. The School’s day to day operations must make sure children’s welfare is paramount in everything they do, placing physical, emotional and educational needs at the centre of the school’s dad to day activities.