Care of Children Act 2004

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4 Child’s welfare and best interests to be paramount

(1)

The welfare and best interests of a child in his or her particular circumstances must be the first and paramount consideration—

(a)

in the administration and application of this Act, for example, in proceedings under this Act; and

(b)

in any other proceedings involving the guardianship of, or the role of providing day-to-day care for, or contact with, a child.

(2)

Any person considering the welfare and best interests of a child in his or her particular circumstances—

(a)

must take into account—

(i)

the principle that decisions affecting the child should be made and implemented within a time frame that is appropriate to the child’s sense of time; and

(ii)

the principles in section 5; and

(b)

may take into account the conduct of the person who is seeking to have a role in the upbringing of the child to the extent that that conduct is relevant to the child’s welfare and best interests.

(3)

It must not be presumed that the welfare and best interests of a child (of any age) require the child to be placed in the day-to-day care of a particular person because of that person’s gender.

(4)

This section does not—

(a)

limit section 6 or 83, or subpart 4 of Part 2; or

(b)

prevent any person from taking into account other matters relevant to the child’s welfare and best interests.

Section 4: replaced, on 31 March 2014, by section 4 of the Care of Children Amendment Act (No 2) 2013 (2013 No 74).