Section 33 of the Children Act 1989
Current version (as amended)
Section 33 of the Children Act 1989 , as it currently stands (that is — with any amendments), is as follows:
Effect of care order
Where a care order is made with respect to a child it shall be the duty of the local authority designated by the order to receive the child into their care and to keep him in their care while the order remains in force.
- (a) a care order has been made with respect to a child on the application of an authorised person; but
- (b) the local authority designated by the order was not informed that that person proposed to make the application,
the child may be kept in the care of that person until received into the care of the authority.
While a care order is in force with respect to a child, the local authority designated by the order shall —
- (a) have parental responsibility for the child; and
have the power (subject to the following provisions of this section) to determine the extent to which —
- (i) a parent, guardian or special guardian of the child; or
- (ii) a person who by virtue of section 4A has parental responsibility for the child,
may meet his parental responsibility for him.
The authority may not exercise the power in subsection (3)(b) unless they are satisfied that it is necessary to do so in order to safeguard or promote the child’s welfare.
Nothing in subsection (3)(b) shall prevent a person mentioned in that provision who has care of the child from doing what is reasonable in all the circumstances of the case for the purpose of safeguarding or promoting his welfare.
While a care order is in force with respect to a child, the local authority designated by the order shall not —
- (a) cause the child to be brought up in any religious persuasion other than that in which he would have been brought up if the order had not been made; or
have the right —
- (i) …
- (ii) to agree or refuse to agree to the making of an adoption order, or an order under section 84 of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 , with respect to the child; or
- (iii) to appoint a guardian for the child.
While a care order is in force with respect to a child, no person may —
without either the written consent of every person who has parental responsibility for the child or the leave of the court.
Subsection (7)(b) does not —
- (a) prevent the removal of such a child, for a period of less than one month, by the authority in whose care he is; or
- (b) apply to arrangements for such a child to live outside England and Wales (which are governed by paragraph 19 of Schedule 2 in England, and section 124 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 in Wales).
The power in subsection (3)(b) is subject (in addition to being subject to the provisions of this section) to any right, duty, power, responsibility or authority which a person mentioned in that provision has in relation to the child and his property by virtue of any other enactment.
Meaning of terms
Certain terms in the Children Act 1989 have a specific meaning which is defined in the Act:
- “Child” means, subject to paragraph 16 of Schedule 1 , a person under the age of 18.
- “Care Order” means an order under section 31(1)(a) and (except where express provision to the contrary is made) includes an interim care order made under section 38 , and also includes any order which by or under any enactment has the effect of, or is deemed to be, a Care Order for the purposes of the Children Act 1989 ; and any reference to a child who is in the care of an authority is a reference to a child who is in their care by virtue of a Care Order.
- “Parental responsibility” means all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child and his property (as defined in section 3 ).
Section 33 of the Children Act extends to England & Wales only.