Chapter 7 Key facts checklists

The Children Act - the public law

• Local authorities have a range of powers and duties to protect children in need. They must investigate if there is evidence that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm.

• The police have powers to protect a child if they have cause to believe that unless they act immediately the child is likely to suffer significant harm.

• The relevant law is in Parts III, IV, and V of the Children Act 1989.

• Where a child is in need of immediate protection, the Family Court may grant an emergency protection order.

• Interim orders are temporary orders used where there are reasonable grounds to believe that the threshold criteria have been satisfied.

• If parents object to their child being assessed, a child assessment order may be applied for.

• Under a care order, the local authority gains parental responsibility for the child (in addition to the parents) and the child may be removed from home.

• Under a supervision order the child remains at home and a supervisor is appointed who will advise, assist, and befriend the child.

• The Family Court may make a care or supervision order if the ‘threshold criteria’ in s 31(2) of the Children Act 1989 are satisfied.

Note: section numbers in this chapter refer to sections of the 1989 Act, unless it is made clear that another Act is being referred to.