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Adoption and Children Act 2002

Section 121: Care plans

302.Section 121amends section 31 of the Children Act 1989 to provide that a court may not make a care order until a care plan has been prepared by the local authority and considered by the court (subsection (1)).  Subsection (2) inserts a new section 31A into the Children Act 1989. This places a duty on the local authority in whose favour a care order is intended to be or may be made to prepare a care plan within a timescale set by the court and to review and modify the plan, if necessary, while the application to the court is pending.  A care plan prepared under new section 31A is to be referred to in the Children Act 1989 as a “section 31A plan”.  Regulations will set out how the plan is to be drawn up and the information to be included (new section 31A(3)).  These requirements will not be binding on an interim care order.

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