Residence Orders

The department supports the right of each child to experience normal family life. The department will encourage and support relatives and significant others to make an application for residence orders as a possible alternative to their admission to the looked after children system so long as this is consistent with the child's welfare and having regard to his/her wishes and feelings.

Wherever possible there should be consideration whether the child's best interests are met by supporting an application for a residence order, particularly in cases where children are at significant risk of becoming looked after or who are already looked after.

The decision to support and encourage alternative carers to make applications for residence in respect of children who are at risk of becoming looked will be based on an assessment of the child's needs and the carer's ability to meet those assessed needs, taking into account the child and his/her parent's wishes and the alternative courses of action available.

Processes for assessing and approving applicants who seek residence orders in respect of children who are looked after or who are at risk of becoming looked after should be as rigorous as arrangements made for assessing and approving other alternative carers.

Parental responsibility

A person in whose favour a residence order is made automatically acquires parental responsibility, but the order does not discharge the parental responsibility of others such as the child's parents.

Where parental responsibility is shared, each person may act independently of the other when meeting that responsibility. 

Thus, although the making of a residence order may curb a parent's ability to act independently to the extent that in practice the day to day care of the child is largely controlled by the person with whom the child is living at least when the child is with the non-resident party, he or she may meet his full parental responsibility without the need to consult with the other person, except in respect of certain restrictions outlined below.

While the making of a residence order has the effect of conferring parental responsibility on the person to whom it is granted for the period while it remains in force, the degree of parental responsibility is limited to the extent that the person does not acquire the right to consent to adoption or to the making of an adoption order, or the right to appoint a Safeguarder.

Another effect of the making of a residence order is that no person may cause the child to be known by a new surname nor remove him/her from the Bailiwick of Guernsey without the written consent of every person who has parental responsibility for him/her or leave from the court.

A Residence Order comes to an end when a child reaches 18 unless the court specifies that it should end earlier or another order is made that discharges it.he granting of a residence order discharges a community parenting order, if one is in force.

A court may attach directions to a residence order which:

Who May Apply For A Residence Order The following people may apply as of right:

The Following People May Apply With The Leave of the Court:

Where the person applying is not the child, the court in deciding whether or not to grant the leave will consider:

Where the child is looked after, the authority's plans for the child's future, and the wishes and feelings of the child's parents.

Restriction On Making Residence Orders

The Department cannot make an application for a Residence Order. A person who is, or was at any time within the last six months, a local authority foster parent of a child may not apply for leave to apply for a residence order with respect to the child unless:

Variation and Discharge Any person entitled to apply for a residence order can apply for its variation or discharge.




TaskResponsible OfficerRecordTimescale
Planning meeting held to consider plans to apply for residence orderTeam managerCompletedWithin one month of request or recommendation
Plan endorsed at LAC reviewSocial workerLAC Review of ArrangementsWithin three months of planning meeting decision
Supporting application to Court setting out how child's welfare will be best promoted by the plan for residence and the extent to which eligibility criteria is met.Child's social worker. Team ManagerCF1 and covering letterWithin three months of planning meeting decision
Obtain copy of the final Residence OrderSocial worker - to obtain copy of the Residence Order from the Greffe - email Jennie.Brehaut@gov.ggCope of Residence OrderWithin three months
Recommendation of adoption and permanency panel to be approved formally by the departmentDirectorComputerWithin one month of panel meeting
A Returning Home LAC Review to be held. (To ensure all necessary processes have been followed/are in place, including consideration for Child In Need support and/or Child Protection Conference etc)   

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