The ‘welfare principle’

Clive Anderson’s ‘Unreliable Evidence’, on Radio 4, recently discussed ‘The Law and Parenthood’.

What was really interesting was the discussion around how the courts apply the ‘welfare principle’ (a term that comes from the Children Act, 1989) when making decisions about children. The panel pointed out that the court’s interpretation of the welfare principle focuses on children’s long-term outcomes, and not automatically on what the parent(s) might think is best. One of the main things that came across was how the welfare principle is held in principle, but interpreted flexibly to take account of individual circumstances.