Ways Children Looked After By Local Authority Social Work Essay

In the context of Shona and her household, this assignment will foremost reexamine the powers and orders necessary to convey the kids to be looked after by the local authorization along with the regulating rules. It will so discourse relevant countries for reappraisal and the needed order to guarantee good attention for the kids, including how and when these should be reviewed. Finally, looking at the significance to the instance survey of s17 of Children Act, 1989 along with sing the different services presented to each sibling whilst in attention.

Police Powers

Shona ‘s instance is discovered by constabulary officers under-taking ordinary responsibilities when societal services sections and the tribunals are closed ( Masson, 2001 ) . CA, 1989 s46 ( 1 ) gives the constabulary power, without traveling to tribunal, to take or confine kids for 72 hours if they have sensible cause to believe that the kids are likely to endure important injury ( Brammer, 2010 ; Powell, 2001 ) .Social Service Managers recognise the value of s46 as an exigency intercession but have criticised its inordinate usage as a consequence of constabulary anxiousness ( Masson, 2001 ) . The rule is that tribunals should do a determination to take kids wherever possible ; hence, s46 is to be used in exceeding fortunes.

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The local authorization should hold in topographic point with the Clerks to the Justices an out of hours Emergency Protection Order ( EPO ) application procedure ( HO Circular, 2008 ) .

Emergency Protection Order

EPO is a short-run exigency step, enduring up to 8 yearss with a possible extension of a farther 7 yearss, whilst the local authorization under CA, 1989 s47 investigates the kids ‘s public assistance. S44 ( 1 ) of the act outlines the evidences for applications for an EPO of which there are two signifiers ( ‘any individual ‘ and ‘likely to endure important injury ‘ ) . The local authorization ‘s application for Shona and her siblings is on the evidences that they are likely to endure important injury due to domestic force. Although the tribunal may hold that there are evidences for an EPO, it still needs to use the rules contained in Part 1 of the act.

Principles regulating the decision-making

Welfare Principle

CA, 1989 s1 provinces that, “ the kid ‘s public assistance shall be the tribunal ‘s paramount consideration ” . The significance of s1 has been closely examined and criticised due to its broad scope of readings ( Brammer, 2010 ; Brayne and Carr, 2010 ) .

“ Decisions based on the public assistance of the kid are finally value opinions ” ( Ryan, 1998: 8 ) Therefore, a checklist was added to keep consistence and supply clear apprehension ( Ryan, 1998 and Brammer, 2010 ) . For an EPO the tribunal must see the public assistance rule but it does non hold to see the checklist ( Brayne and Carr, 2010 ) .

Non-Delay Principle

CA, 1989 s1 ( 2 ) , supported by European Court of Human Rights article 6 ( 1 ) , emphasises that any hold in tribunal proceedings is potentially harmful to the public assistance of the kid ( Brayne and Carr, 2010 ) , hence, the tribunal needs to hold respect to the non-delay rule.The Public Law Outline ( PLO ) , 2008 attempted to turn to instance direction and avoid holds in tribunal proceedings by puting a timetable. Masson argues that “ Legislating against hold did non alter working patterns ; grownup parties continue to make advantageous hold ” ( 2010 ; 55 ) .

No-order Principle

CA, 1989 s1 ( 5 ) directs tribunals to do no order, even if the injury threshold status is satisfied, unless it considers that doing an order would be better for the kid than doing no order at all ( known as the ‘no-order ‘ rule ) . The rule recognises the demand for proportionality with three foundational purposes: 1 ) “ discourage unneeded tribunal orders ” , 2 ) “ to guarantee that the order is granted merely where it is likely positively to better the kid ‘s public assistance ” and 3 ) deter the devising of unneeded applications ( DCSF, 2008: 7 ) .If authorities counsel ‘discourages unneeded applications ‘ , this may account for research findings demoing a general misinterpretation of this rule amongst local governments who interpret it to intend that instances should non be taken to tribunal unless it is wholly necessary.

The recent addition in tribunal applications may show that the rule is non forestalling Social Workers from transporting out their responsibilities ( DCSF, 2008 ; Brayne and Carr, 2010 ) . The bulk of tribunal proceedings have resulted in orders being granted, hence Mason argues, “ Neither the public nor the tribunals themselves have accepted the ‘no order ‘ rule ” ( 2010, 57 ) .

Areas Needing to be looked at:

Threshold Question

As Shona has been in attention for about three old ages, the local authorization would hold applied for a tribunal order. This can non be obtained without run intoing the threshold standard of CA, 1989 s31: identifying important injury, cause for the injury and no order rule ( Ryan, 1998 ; DOH, 1999 ) . Significant injury has to be found to be before the tribunal will step in in household life, nevertheless, as the term is non defined it causes considerable jobs of reading.

The Adoption and Children Act, 2002 s120 broadened injury to include witnessing or hearing it, which would be relevant in the instance of Shona ( Brammer, 2010 ) .


The kids would be assessed under the kid protection construction due to the physical maltreatment Liam endured and his sisters witnessed. This construction has evolved through a series of studies and authorities handbills. In 2008, the Children Act Guidance Volume One was revised and issued under s7 of the Local Authority Social Service Act, 1970 which provided lucidity for what should be completed before doing an order application ( Brayne and Carr, 2010 ) .

Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2010 provides interagency counsel on appraisal and probe. The Model for the Assessment of Children in Need and Their Families, 2000 provided, under one structured system, a “ holistic appraisal ” and be aftering tool for all kids in demand ( Thomas, 2005: 83 ) .Using the model, the local authorization, through the nucleus appraisal procedure, will necessitate to see both the kids ‘s and parent ‘s demands along with those in the wider household and community, to make a determination that an order is necessary to safeguard their public assistance. The local authorization would besides necessitate to seek legal advice and communicate to the parents their concerns ( DCSF, 2008 ) .

Care Plan

ACA, 2002 amended s31 of the CA, 1989 so that an order can non be made until the tribunal has considered a attention program ( Brammer, 2010 ) . A separate program would be required for Shona, Liam and Siobhan so the tribunal can see their single demands. The programs should be based on findings from the initial and nucleus appraisals with the construction, as guided by Local Authority Circular 99 ( 29 ) , 1999, being: 1 ) overall purpose, 2 ) kid ‘s demands, 3 ) positions of others, 4 ) item on arrangement and 5 ) local authorization direction.

The tribunal ‘s determination on the no-order rule will take into history the attention program for confirmation as to how the order would be applied ( DOH, 2000 ) .

What Orders May Have Been Necessary

Care Order

In holding met the threshold standard, completed appraisal and attention program the local authorization under s31 would use for a attention order for the kids. A attention order, instead than a supervising order, involves the kids being removed from their place and provides the local authorization with shared parental duty for the kids alongside the parents ( Brayne and Carr, 2010 ) .

Reappraisals by Local Authority

Upon allowing an order, the tribunal has no influence in the program being carried out ( Brammer, 2010 ) .

ACA, 2002 amended s25 ( a ) CA, 1989 by necessitating an Independent Review Officer ( IRO ) to be appointed to “ chair all review meetings of looked after kids, guarantee the kid is involved in the reappraisal and will dispute hapless pattern, and any impetus in implementing the Care Plan ” ( HMG, 2003: 45 ) . If the program is non implemented the IRO can go through the instance to CAFCASS who can now return it to tribunal ( Brammer, 2010 ) .CA, 1989 s26 makes it a legal demand for local governments to regularly reexamine the kids ‘s attention programs. Review “ guarantee that it [ program ] is being efficaciously implemented and to do any alterations that have become necessary ” ( Thomas, 2005: 76 ) . All involved in the attention of the kids, including the kid, should be involved in the reappraisal. The lower limit demands which reflect the no-delay rule, are set out in the Review of Children ‘s Cases Regulations 1991, amended in 2004.

The first reappraisal should be held within four hebdomads of the kids going looked after, followed by a farther reappraisal at three months subsequently and so six monthly ( Brammer, 2010 ; Ryan, 1998 ) .

Relevance of s17 to instance survey

Positions of Parents

Under s17 of CA, 1989, the local authorization has a general responsibility to advance the upbringing of kids in demand by their households and with article 8 of the Human Rights Act, 1989 ; they would necessitate to warrant any intervention in household life. Working Together, 2010 re-emphasized the committedness of partnership with parents in doing programs for the public assistance and protection of their kids. There are a figure of ways the local authorization can work in partnership with Shona ‘s parents ; through audience, taking into consideration their positions, attending at instance conferences and being notified of any public proceedings ( Brayne and Carr, 2010 ) .Calcium 1989, s17 besides makes clear that the first precedence is to advance and safeguard the kids ‘s public assistance and so seek to maintain them within their household ( Brayne and Carr, 2010 ) . Provided that the public assistance and safety of the kids is overriding so potentially there should be no struggle between the rules of household support and kid protection ( Parton, 1997 ) . However, research has shown that full partnership is hard to make when hazards are high and households disagree with the sensed hazards ( Bell, 1999 ) .

The recent instance of Baby Peter has highlighted the importance of Shona ‘s Social Worker holding the accomplishment to acknowledge when partnership with the parents is neglecting to protect them ( Brayne and Carr, 2010 ) . The male parent ‘s force towards the kids could be a ground to except him from any conferences but his wants can be obtained by other agencies ( DCSF, 2010 ) . It is besides of import to recognize that the kids ‘s positions and wants may be different to their parents.

Child ‘s wants

The Children Act, 2004 s53 amended s17 of CA, 1989 doing it a demand that before make up one’s minding what services should be provided the kids ‘s wants should be obtained and given consideration ( DCSF, 2010 ) . CA, 1989 s22 by adverting the kid before the parents suggests that the kid ‘s wants are to be the first consideration ( Brayne and Carr, 2010 ) .The jurisprudence has besides been criticised for presuming that it is possible to cognize objectively what is in a kid ‘s best involvement but alternatively should give the kids themselves a function in finding what happens ( Thomas, 2005 ) .

However, the accent of listening to the kid ‘s wants has late been criticised as it undermines the tribunals authorization to do a best involvement determination ( Times, 2010 ) . “ Laws, policies and processs continue to reflect he tenseness between these duplicate ends of safeguarding kids and recommending their rights ” ( Adams, 2009 ; 304 ) . To guarantee that the kid ‘s involvements, wants and rights are upheld in tribunal, CA, 1989 s41 ( 1 ) contains the responsibility, if required, for a Children ‘s Guardian to be appointed from CAFCASS ( Brayne and Carr, 2010 ) .

Placement Detailss

The local authorization whilst taking into consideration the positions of the kids and parents, will hold respects for s17 when sing arrangements for the kids. The CA, 1989 s44 ( a ) was amended by the Family Law Act, 1996 giving “ power to include exclusion demand in exigency protection order ” . This could hold been an option looked at in the instance of Shona with the male parent being excluded from the household place ( Brayne and Carr, 2010 ) . Consideration of household members and friends as possible carers for Shona and her siblings should be explored and clearly demonstrated in their attention programs before doing a tribunal order application ( DCSF, 2008 ) .

S23 ( 7 ) CA, 1989 promotes contact between parents and kids with local authorization, as is moderately operable, supplying adjustment near to the household place and maintaining siblings together. Under agenda 2 of CA, 1989 there are powers given to the local authorization to help in keeping links between kids and their household ( Brayne and Carr, 2010 ) .

Options Available to each kid

Family Group Conference

There are several methods for roll uping the kids ‘s attention programs, with one such option being Family Group Conference ( FGC ) ( Thomas, 2005 ) . FGC has been described as a, “ realistic methods for unifying the demands and involvements of kids and households and the protection concerns of public kid public assistance bureaus, the tribunals, and the community ” ( Chandler and Giovannucci, 2004: 217 ) . Although there is no factual informations, reappraisals of FGCs have implied that it is non a suited option for domestic force instances due to the public assistance of the kid. However, in the instance of Shona, FGC may hold been a feasible option when ab initio going kids cared for to assist research the public assistance concerns, make up one’s minding what services are necessary and to take into consideration the kids and parents positions when sing permanence so to forestall the kids going entrenched in the attention system ( Chandler and Giovannucci, 2004 ) .


The local authorization has a power under s20 CA, 1989 to supply adjustment to the three kids ( Ryan, 1998 ) . From ab initio coming into attention ( the sisters traveling to further attention and Liam to residential attention ) up until their current state of affairs ( Shona and Siobhan different wants to return place ) determinations on the proviso of adjustment have been paramount with the options to be explored being: affinity, Foster attention, residential, reunion, acceptance and independency.

ACA, 2002 provides counsel on the “ timescales for determinations about acceptance ” with permanency, including acceptance, necessitating to be considered at the 2nd attention program review ( Brayne and Carr, 2010: 378 ) .

Education / Crime

Due to the extremely publicized statistics of kids in attention ‘s educational underachievement, offense rates and employability, the recent authorities has made a figure of alterations to statute law. Under s20 of the Children and Young Persons Act, 2008 all three kids will hold ( had ) “ a designated member of staff ” at their school “ duty for advancing the educational accomplishment ” . The local authorization under s22 should supply for under 25 twelvemonth olds “ aid to prosecute instruction or preparation ” which is relevant to Liam and Shona ‘s current state of affairs ( Brammer, 2010: 356 ) . Although the docket for alteration is non without unfavorable judgment, “ Its policy recommendations are framed within a societal investing attack which values instruction as the path out of exclusion and into employability ” ( Williams, 2004 ; 423 ) .Agenda 2 ( 7 ) of CA, 1989 puts an burden on the local authorization to “ take sensible stairss designed to cut down the demand to convey condemnable proceedings against such kids ” ( Brammer, 2010: 369 ) . Therefore the Youth Offending Team ( YOT ) could be a service considered for Liam. Adams argues that the figure of detained kids is high in the UK with, “ policy and pattern sing kids and immature people who have committed offenses remain pig-headedly immune to welfare rules ” ( 2009 ; 318 ) .

Legal Requirements

In 2003 the authorities published Every Child Matters ( ECM ) which introduced five results for service suppliers to do agreements to better the well being of kids: “ being healthy, remaining safe, basking and accomplishing, doing a positive part and economic well-being ” ( 2003:6-7 ) . CA, 2004 was passed to supply a statutory model for using ECM with the five results included in s10 ( 2 ) of the act ( Brayne and Carr, 2010 ) . The act besides introduced the demand for working together of statutory sections and other relevant organic structures for accomplishing the five results ( Brammer, 2010 ) .

In theory this provides Shona, Liam and Siobham with greater chance for services from public, private and voluntary sectors, nevertheless, this legislative alteration did non come with an addition in budget ( Williams, 2004 ) . The duty of the local authorization to supply services to the kids is outlined in agenda 2 of CA, 1989. The diction is moderated for illustration ‘reasonable stairss ‘ or ‘consider appropriate ‘ , therefore the local authorization can prioritize services based on what is available instead than holding to run into every demand ( Brammer, 2010 ) . When more than one bureau is involved in the kids ‘s attention a lead professional will be appointed to “ be responsible for guaranting a consistent bundle of services to run into the single kid ‘s demands ” ( HMG, 2003: 9 ) .


In the state of affairs of Shona and her household, this assignment has highlighted the current societal and political thought towards safeguarding kids with the balance in the CA, 1989 between public assistance and kids ‘s wants ; the accent on partnership with parents ; the importance of answerability through reappraisals and the value placed on kids staying with their households.

The five results for kids in attention provide a model for the proviso of services, nevertheless, the restriction in budgets does non back up the political docket.