The Children Act 1989 provides for general principles to be applied in court proceedings where children are concerned.
For instance, the welfare of children is paramount with regards to all issues of his welfare and the administration of his property; and that delay in deciding anything that has to do with the child's welfare is likely to prejudice his welfare. Section 1 highlights the importance of children's welfare. Welfare includes the material welfare and non-material considerations such as stability and love.
The courts have some important powers in family proceedings. Part II of the Children Act provides a range of orders that can be made with regards to children. The different orders which the courts are empowered to make include the following: residence orders; contact orders; prohibited steps orders; and specific issue orders.
Local authorities also have a number of duties and powers towards children in need in their local area. Section 17 Children Act stipulates the general duty of local authority as to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and promoting the upbringing of children by their families. Children under the age of 18 may be adopted. The Adoption and Children Act 2002 is now in force and has important provisions in this regard.