DOHS v B siblings, DOHS v H siblings 2009 VChC 1
A judge was asked to rule on whether courts have the power when granting long term orders to require that siblings be placed together, an issue that was raised with two families involving 5 and 3 children respectively (sibling separation).
The judge ruled that a court cannot limit the right of the department to make decisions about placement of family members, and cannot issue orders requiring siblings on long term placements to be placed together. Other factors are relevant when making placement decisions including a child’s wishes.
A judge noted that Children’s Courts make decisions about custody of a child where custody includes both the responsibility to provide for the daily care and control of a child, and the authority to make decisions about the care of the child (decisions about daily welfare).