Court of Protection: What happens after foster care?
The Court of Protection released an interim judgement yesterday about the accommodation of a vulnerable young adult and how the Court will approach similar applications in future.
The Court was faced with deciding what was in the best interests of an 18 year old man when he was transitioning out of foster care. The foster care placement, in which he had been for around two years, had been brought about by a family judge deciding that the young man (as he then was) was at serious risk of significant harm from his family. He was placed in care but the young man made it clear to the Court of Protection that he wanted to be reunited with his family.
The Court stated that it had found no evidence that the family situation had improved and that the young man did not have the mental capacity needed to make decisions for himself. As such, the court was required to decide what was in the young man’s best interests.
The Local Authority believed that the young man should be placed in a residential unit, however it was clear that he did not want to do this at all. The judge spoke critically that he was left with very little choice in the matter but decided that the best placement for him was in residential accommodation.
What does this mean?
This case highlights the difficult nature of transitioning from being legally a child to legally an adult. Whilst the law on the treatment of children and vulnerable adults is similar, this transition requires expert case management from all involved and an in-depth knowledge of the wishes of the person at the centre of the case.
Our Court of Protection lawyers are highly experienced in supporting vulnerable people and their loved ones. We can help to ensure your loved one’s needs are met, providing compassionate, practical support to make dealing with these challenging and sensitive issues as straightforward as possible.