Wardship Proceedings are very different from Proceedings under the Guardianship of Infants Act 1964 in that they can be commenced by a third party even though the parents of the child are alive. When a minor is made a Ward of Court, all matters affecting the minors upbringing become the responsibility of the Court. The Court can decide in whose care and custody the minor should be placed the manner in which property should be managed.
The Court can make a variety of Orders in relation to residence, education and holidays. The Court can also order maintenance to be paid.
Paramount consideration again in all of these questions to be brought before the Court is that of the “welfare of the minor”. Once a child is made a Ward of Court, the Court exercises a continuing supervisory function.
Once a minor reaches the age of eighteen, the minor will be discharged from Wardship.
Circumstances In Which Wardship May Be Used
- A statutory body or an individual may apply to have a child whose welfare is threatened, made a Ward of Court.
- If parents seek to prevent a teenage son or daughter from leaving home, they may apply to have him/her made a Ward of Court.