Children and Families Act 2014

Citation2014 c. 6
JurisdictionUK Non-devolved


Children and Families Act 2014

2014 CHAPTER 6

An Act to make provision about children, families, and people with special educational needs or disabilities; to make provision about the right to request flexible working; and for connected purposes.

[13th March 2014]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

1 Adoption and contact

PART 1

Adoption and contact

Adoption

Adoption

S-1 Contact between prescribed persons and adopted person's relatives

1 Contact between prescribed persons and adopted person's relatives

(1) In section 98 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (pre-commencement adoptions: information), after subsection (1) insert-

"(1A) Regulations under section 9 may make provisio n for the purpose of facilitating contact between persons with a prescribed relationship to a person adopted before the appointed day and that person's relatives."

(2) In each of subsections (2) and (3) of that section, for "that purpose" substitute "a purpose within subsection (1) or (1A)".

(3) In subsection (7) of that section, after the definition of "appointed day" insert-

""prescribed" means prescribed by regulations under section 9;".

S-2 Placement of looked after children with prospective adopters

2 Placement of looked after children with prospective adopters

(1) Section 22C of the Children Act 1989 is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (7), after "subject to" insert "subsection (9B) and".

(3) After subsection (9) insert-

"(9A) Subsection (9B) applies (subject to subsection (9C)) where the local authority are a local authority in England and-

(a) are considering adoption for C, or

(b) are satisfied that C ought to be placed for adoption but are not authorised under section 19 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (placement with parental consent) or by virtue of section 21 of that Act (placement orders) to place C for adoption.

(9B) Where this subsection applies-

(a) subsections (7) to (9) do not apply to the local authority,

(b) the local authority must consider placing C with an individual within subsection (6)(a), and

(c) where the local authority decide that a placement with such an individual is not the most appropriate placement for C, the local authority must consider placing C with a local authority foster parent who has been approved as a prospective adopter.

(9C) Subsection (9B) does not apply where the local authority have applied for a placement order under section 21 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 in respect of C and the application has been refused."

S-3 Repeal of requirement to give due consideration to ethnicity: England

3 Repeal of requirement to give due consideration to ethnicity: England

(1) Section 1 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (considerations applying when making decisions about the adoption of a child) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (5) (due consideration to be given to religious persuasion, racial origin and cultural and linguistic background), for "In placing the child for adoption, the adoption agency" substitute "In placing a child for adoption, an adoption agency in Wales".

(3) In consequence of the amendment made by subsection (2)-

(a) in subsection (1), for "This section applies" substitute "Subsections (2) to (4) apply";

(b) in subsection (6), for "The court or adoption agency" substitute "In coming to a decision relating to the adoption of a child, a court or adoption agency";

(c) after subsection (8) insert-

"(9) In this section "adoption agency in Wales" means an adoption agency that is-

(a) a local authority in Wales, or

(b) a registered adoption society whose principal office is in Wales."

S-4 Recruitment, assessment and approval of prospective adopters

4 Recruitment, assessment and approval of prospective adopters

(1) In Chapter 2 of Part 1 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (the Adoption Service) after section 3 insert-

"3A Recruitment, assessment and approval of prospective adopters

(1) The Secretary of State may give directions requiring one or more named local authorities in England, or one or more descriptions of local authority in England, to make arrangements for all or any of their functions within subsection (3) to be carried out on their behalf by one or more other adoption agencies.

(2) The Secretary of State may by order require all local authorities in England to make arrangements for all or any of their functions within subsection (3) to be carried out on their behalf by one or more other adoption agencies.

(3) The functions are their functions in relation to-

(a) the recruitment of persons as prospective adopters;

(b) the assessment of prospective adopters' suitability to adopt a child;

(c) the approval of prospective adopters as suitable to adopt a child."

(2) In section 140(3) of that Act (statutory instruments containing subordinate legislation that are subject to the affirmative procedure), before paragraph (a) insert-

"(za) under section 3A(2),".

(3) The Secretary of State may not make an order under subsection (2) of section 3A of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (as inserted by subsection (1)) before 1 March 2015.

S-5 Adoption support services: personal budgets

5 Adoption support services: personal budgets

In Chapter 2 of Part 1 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (the Adoption Service) after section 4 insert-

"4A Adoption support services: personal budgets

(1)This section applies where-

(a) after carrying out an assessment under section 4, a local authority in England decide to provide any adoption support services to a person ("the recipient"), and

(b) the recipient is an adopted person or the parent of an adopted person.

(2) The local authority must prepare a personal budget for the recipient if asked to do so by the recipient or (in prescribed circumstances) a person of a prescribed description.

(3) The authority prepare a "personal budget" for the recipient if they identify an amount as available to secure the adoption support services that they have decided to provide, with a view to the recipient being involved in securing those services.

(4)Regulations may make provision about personal budgets, in particular-

(a) about requests for personal budgets;

(b) about the amount of a personal budget;

(c) about the sources of the funds making up a personal budget;

(d) for payments ("direct payments") representing all or part of a personal budget to be made to the recipient, or (in prescribed circumstances) a person of a prescribed description, in order to secure any adoption support services to which the budget relates;

(e) about the description of adoption support services to which personal budgets and direct payments may (and may not) relate;

(f) for a personal budget or direct payment to cover the agreed cost of the adoption support services to which the budget or payment relates;

(g) about when, how, to whom and on what condit ions direct payments may (and may not) be made;

(h) about when direct payments may be required to be repaid and the recovery of unpaid sums;

(i) about conditions with which a person or body making direct payments must comply before, after or at the time of making a direct payment;

(j) about arrangements for providing information, advice or support in connection with personal budgets and direct payments.

(5)If the regulations include provision authorising direct payments, they must-

(a) require the consent of the recipient, or (in prescribed circumstances) a person of a prescribed description, to be obtained before direct payments are made;

(b) require the authority to stop making direct payments where the required consent is withdrawn.

(6) Any adoption support services secured by means of direct payments made by a local authority are to be treated as adoption support services provided by the authority for all purposes, subject to any prescribed conditions or exceptions.

(7)On the occasion of the first exercise of the power to make regulations under this section-

(a) the statutory instrument containing the regulations is not to be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament, and

(b) accordingly section 140(2) does not apply to the instrument.

(8) In this section "prescribed" means prescribed by regulations."

S-6 Adoption support services: duty to provide information

6 Adoption support services: duty to provide information

In Chapter 2 of Part 1 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (the Adoption Service) after section 4A (as inserted by section 5) insert-

"4B Adoption support services: duty to provide information

(1)Except in circumstances prescribed by regulations, a local authority in England must provide the information specified in subsection (2) to-

(a) any person who has contacted the authority to request information about adopting a child,

(b) any person who has informed the authority that he or she wishes to adopt a child,

(c) any person within the authority's area who the authority are aware is a parent of an adopted child, and

(d) any person within the authority's area who is a parent of an adopted child and has contacted the authority to request any of the information specified in subsection (2).

(2)The information is-

(a) information about the adoption support services available to people in the authority's area;

(b) information about the right to request an assessment under section 4 (assessments etc for adoption support services), and the authority's duties under that section and regulations made under it;

(c) information about the authority's duties under section 4A (adoption support services: personal budgets) and...

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