When certain decisions have to be taken about a child, all those with Parental Responsibility for the child are allowed to have a say in that decision. The decision will have to be about the upbringing of the child. Day to day decisions should be taken by the resident parent or the person with whom the child lives without interference from other Parental Responsibility holders.
In practical terms Parental Responsibility means the power to make important decisions in relation to a child. This can include:
- determining the child’s education and where the child goes to school;
- choosing, registering or changing the child’s name;
- appointing a child’s Guardian
A Guardian can be appointed in court proceedings to act on behalf of the child who is the subject of the proceedings. A Guardian is usually a Cafcass officer who is appointed to ascertain the child’s views and to conduct proceedings on the child’s behalf. The court will only appoint a Guardian in particular circumstances, for example, when parents cannot represent the child’s wishes, a report is insufficient or a child opposes a proposed course of action. A Guardian may also be appointed if there are serious allegations of harm.<br/>”>guardian in the event of the death of a parent;
consenting to a child’s operation or certain medical treatment;
accessing a child’s medical records;
consenting to taking the child abroad for holidays or extended stays;
representing the child in legal proceedings;
determining the religion the child should be brought up with. Where there is a mixed cultural background this should include exposure to the religions of all those with Parental Responsibility, until the child can reach an age where he/she can make their own decision on this.