West of Scotland

West of ScotlandChild Protection Consortium
Inter-Agency Child Protection Procedures Manual

Legislative Framework

Children (Scotland Act) 1995

The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 & Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011

The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 and the Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 provide the main legislative framework for the protection of Children in Scotland. The Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act replaced those parts of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 relating to the Children’s Hearings system although many parts of the Children (Scotland Act 1995 (“the 1995” Act”) remain in force and it will be referred to where relevant.

The 2011 Act contains the grounds of referral to the Children’s Hearing system for those considered in need of compulsory supervision, and, along with the 1995 Act, they provide a number of mechanisms allowing for intervention in a child’s life when they are considered to be suffering, or at risk of suffering, significant harm.

Beyond voluntary intervention with children and their families these mechanisms take the form of court orders, namely:

  • Assessment Orders;
  • Child Protection Orders;
  • Exclusion Orders (1995 Act); and
  • Compulsory Supervision Orders issued by a Children’s Hearing.

Child Assessment Order

A child assessment order is an order of the court authorising an assessment of a child’s health and development or of the way a child is being treated. A child assessment order can be used if parents continue to refuse access to a child for the purpose of establishing basic facts about the child’s condition but concerns about the child’s safety are not so urgent as to require a child protection order. The order enables the court to require the parents to co-operate with an assessment, the details of which will be specific. If specified in the order it can authorise the removal of the child but only for the purpose of the assessment. An assessment order can only last for a maximum of 3 days. The order does not take away the child’s own right to refuse an assessment. The parents should be informed of the legal steps which could be used.

A Sheriff may make directions regarding the contact which the child should have with parents, other family members and any person named in the order. Any such direction must be complied with by the local authority.

Conditions to be satisfied

In the course of making inquiries into a child’s circumstances in terms of Section 60 of the Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 (when it is considered that a child may be in need of protection, guidance, treatment or control and that it might be necessary for a compulsory supervision order to be made), a local authority may consider it necessary to seek a child assessment order.

In order to satisfy a sheriff that such an order is necessary; the following three conditions set out in Section 36 (2) require to be met:

  • The local authority must have reasonable cause to suspect that the child in respect of whom the order is being sought has been or is being treated (or neglected) in such a way that he or she is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm;
  • Such assessment of the child is required in order to establish whether or not there is reasonable cause to believe that the child is so treated (or neglected); and
  • Such assessment is unlikely to be carried out, or be carried out satisfactorily, unless the order is granted.
Steps to be taken

In considering whether an application for a child assessment order is appropriate, it is important to recognise that assessment will be the key to decision-making about the needs of children and their families. The assessment will also consider whether one of the child’s needs should be addressed through protective measures. In keeping with the principles of the Act such an assessment should, wherever possible, be undertaken without the need for a statutory order, in co-operation with parents, and taking into account the views of the child.

The duty on local authorities ‘to make all necessary inquiries” under Section 60 of the Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 should be explained to parents and the opportunity given for them to explain their point of view. Parents who continue to refuse to allow their child to be seen or assessed should be advised of the options open to the authority when there are concerns about a child’s safety, including application for a child assessment order, and the effects of this and other child protection measures.

A child assessment order is not an emergency order although it may be made in an emergency situation, for example where it is not possible to say definitively that the Child Protection Order tests have been met until an assessment has been carried out. The decision to apply for it should however be planned, and in most circumstances should only be made after a process of consultation with other agencies.

When consideration is being given to the necessity for an application for an assessment order, this should be discussed with a social work manager.

Before making a decision about the need for a child assessment order, the social work manager, should, wherever possible, convene and chair a child protection case discussion to consider the matter. Case discussions should involve representatives of appropriate agencies; in particular health and education staff, and consideration should be given as to whether consultation with the Council’s legal services is required at this stage. If appropriate and unless to do so may be contrary to the best interests of the child or contradict other responsibilities (e.g. in relation to data protection, safety matters for all involved), consideration may be given to including the child and their parents.

The case discussion should consider whether the criteria for a child assessment order are satisfied, pay particular attention as to whether co-operation may be obtained in any other way, take into account that the order – if made – would have to be enacted within a very quick timescale, and whether, in all the circumstances, the child assessment order is the most appropriate measure to be sought.

The case discussion should consider any difficulties likely to be encountered in implementing the order, if granted, and in particular should consider whether assistance may be required from the Police/Sheriff Officers to enforce the order.

The service manager, social work, should contact the authority’s legal services to give notice of such a request for assistance.

Information required

The main determinants of the decision to seek an Order will be evidence of:

  • The degree of harm suspected;
  • The occurrence or likelihood of this harm;
  • The extent to which attempts to proceed with parental co-operation have failed.

Where a decision has been made to seek an order, the case discussion should consider the need for the provision of information from each appropriate agency to support the application, who will do the assessment, where it will take place and timescale for completion.

This may include, for example, school or health visitor reports.

Where a decision has been made to seek an order the case discussion should consider the need for the involvement of relevant staff from each appropriate agency. This may range from the provision of information towards the assessment, to active involvement in the assessment process. The minute of the case discussion should record decisions made in this regard, and agencies should be requested to confirm their views and concerns in writing.

The minute should also record the views of the child and how they have been ascertained. If the views of the child have not been obtained the minute should indicate the reason for this.

Finally, the minute should record decisions of the case discussion regarding any directions or conditions that may require to be sought in terms of Section 35 of the Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011.

If the local authority has concluded that the child may be in need of protection, guidance, treatment or control and that it might be necessary for a compulsory supervision order to be made a referral must also be made to the Reporter.

Procedure to be followed

Given that a child assessment order is not in itself an emergency order; the decision to apply for it is likely to be on a planned basis after consultation with other agencies in the form of a case discussion.

If the service manager, social work, or equivalent is satisfied that there are sufficient grounds for making the application and that all voluntary options have been considered, they will, during office hours, either consult directly or delegate any named individual to consult with legal services.

Copies of the minute of any case discussion and any other relevant information must be made available to the legal services representative with a minimum of delay, including reports from other agencies, e.g. school, health services.

It is the responsibility of the Local Authority to prepare an application for the Sheriff. This responsibility may lie with legal services or social work services, in consultation with legal services when possible.

The application should include details of any directions or conditions, which are being requested as part of the order.

Consideration also needs to be given at this stage as to whether, and if so, which social work personnel should accompany the solicitor making the application.

The application requires to be made on the appropriate form and should include any details of directions or conditions which should be applied to the order. The application should also be supported by written evidence in the form of a minute available from the case discussion along with any other relevant reports or statements from other agencies.

When appearing before the sheriff, the social worker should ensure that there are sufficient copies of Application Form for Child Assessment Order and the Child Assessment Order as well as any written evidence referred to in the previous paragraph.

When applying for a child assessment order you should be aware of the sheriff’s power to grant a child protection order and should, therefore, have a plan prepared for this contingency.

Following Sheriff’s Decision

Following the granting of a child assessment order, the order will be served on the appropriate parties.

The Social Work Manager, will ensure that the assessment, with any conditions attached, is undertaken as a matter of priority, and in any event before the expiry of an order.

The Child Assessment Order must start no later than 24 hours after it is granted and will not exceed 3 days in duration.

If, at any point, information available suggests that the conditions for a child protection order or exclusion order are satisfied, then the appropriate order should be sought without delay.

The Service Manager should ensure that the family is notified of the results of the assessment at the earliest opportunity, and the action, if any, proposed by the department.

Serving Notice

A copy of the application form for a child assessment order should be served on:

  • The child, in respect of whom the Order is sought (unless the Sheriff decides otherwise);
  • Any relevant person within the meaning of Section 81(4)(d) of the Act;
  • The Safeguarder (if any);
  • The Principal Reporter;
  • Any other person whom the Local Authority considers requires to be served a Notice of the Application, e.g. the person who is caring for the child at the time the application is made.

The local authority shall intimate the granting (or refusal) of an application to such persons, if any, as the Sheriff directs.

Child Protection Order

This is an emergency measure which aims to protect children and young people who are at risk of significant harm and should only be applied for when there is an urgent need for protective action. It authorises the applicant to remove a child from circumstances in which he or she is at risk, or retain him or her in a place of safety. The reasons for decisions to apply for the order should be clearly recorded. A child protection order may also specify conditions (e.g. medical examination) attached to the order.

Only the police have statutory authority to use reasonable force in order to gain entry to premises. The police must therefore be involved in discussions about any case where access to the child has been refused.

The purpose of a child protection order is to ensure that, where it is necessary, urgent action can be taken to remove a child to a place of safety or to prevent the removal of a child from the place they currently are.

A child protection order can do any of the following:

  • Require any person in a position to do so to produce the child to the applicant;
  • Authorise removal of the child by the applicant to a place of safety, and the keeping of the child in that place;
  • Authorise the prevention of the removal of the child from any place where he or she is being accommodated;
  • Provide that the location of any place of safety in which the child is being kept should not be disclosed to any person or class of person specified in the Order itself;
  • Authorise the carrying out of an assessment of the child’s health, development or welfare or the way in which the child has been or is being treated or neglected.

A child subject to a child protection order is not technically a looked after child under the terms of the Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 however the Authority has the same obligations to such a child as they would to a looked after child. The Sheriff may make directions as to contact with the child for any parent, relevant person or other specified person or class of person. They may alternatively prohibit contact by such a person. They may also direct that medical or psychiatric examination or other assessment or interview of the child or treatment arising out of the examination or assessment take place.

The duration of the order is limited initially to a maximum of 2 working days. When a CPO Is implemented a Children’s Hearing must be held on the 2nd working day after implementation or the CPO will fall. If the Children’s Hearing continue the CPO then a further hearing must be held by the 8th working day. At this Hearing legal documents drafted by the Reporter and which set out the grounds for referral and supporting statements of the facts of the case will be put to the child and any relevant persons.

Conditions to be satisfied

There are two separate bases on which an application for a Child Protection Order can be made (Sections 38 and 39 of the 2011 Act). The grounds available under s38 only apply when the local authority is making the application. The grounds under s39 apply irrespective of who makes the application to the court.

In respect of an application made by a local authority under section 38, the sheriff may make a child protection order if satisfied:

  1. That the authority has reasonable grounds to suspect that a child is being or will be so treated (or neglected) that he is suffering or will suffer significant harm;
  2. That they are making, or causing to be made, enquiries to allow them to decide whether they should take any action to safeguard the welfare of the child; and
  3. That those enquiries are being frustrated by access to the child being unreasonably denied and the authority has reasonable cause to believe that such access is required as a matter of urgency.

In terms of section 39 of the Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011, a child protection order may be granted by the sheriff if he/she is satisfied that

  1. There are reasonable grounds to believe that a child;
    1. Has been or is being so treated (or neglected) that he is suffering significant harm or is likely to suffer significant harm; or
    2. Is likely to suffer such harm if he is not removed to and kept in a place of safety, or if he does not remain in the place where he is then being accommodated (whether or not he is resident there); and
  2. An order under this section is necessary to protect that child from such harm (or such further harm).

Steps to be taken before Applying for an Order

Before deciding to apply for a child protection order, the social worker must consult with his or her team manager and the service manager, or equivalent. 

There are a number of other matters which as far as is practicable should be considered:

  • An assessment of the alternatives to an application for the order;
  • The ascertainable wishes and feelings of the child having regard to the child's age and understanding;
  • The child's physical, emotional and educational needs, including any special need during the period of the order, if made;
  • The likely effect on the child of a change in circumstances which might result from an application for an order;
  • The child's age, gender and family circumstances;
  • The circumstances giving rise to the application; the need for any directions relating to, for example, contact and assessments and which the court may attach to the child protection order, if made;
  • The nature and effect of any other orders or requirements already made in respect of the child, for example, a residence order, contact order, or supervision order.

Out of Hours

The social worker should contact the relevant social work manager. The home telephone numbers of these personnel can be obtained through their organisations. The following are the public numbers for stand by’ or ‘out of hours’ services that cover selected local authority areas in the West of Scotland CP consortium area.

Covering

  • Dumfries and Galloway, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire - 0800 811 505;
  • North Lanarkshire - 0800 121 4114;
  • South Lanarkshire - 0800 678 3282;
  • East, North and South Ayrshire - 0800 328 7758;
  • Argyll and Bute Social Work Emergency Service - 01631 566491.

The procedures outlined above would then be followed by accessing the department’s ‘out with working hours emergency contact list’ which contains details of how to access Legal Services, the Sheriff Clerk and the Sheriff.

It should be the Service Manager, Children and Families, or equivalent who will make a decision regarding the application, in consultation with legal services where possible.

Procedure for making an application

The investigating social workers will discuss the application with the social work manager, or equivalent, who will then make a decision about whether to proceed with the application and whether the application is to be made under Section 38 or 39. The social work manager will also liaise with the officer in charge of any investigation from the police family protection unit.

If they are satisfied that there are sufficient grounds for making the application, and that all voluntary options have been considered, they will, during office hours, either consult directly or delegate any named individual to consult with the Council’s legal services.

Application will be made by the local authority through the Sheriff Clerk in the Civil Section at the appropriate Sheriff Court. He or she will make the necessary arrangements for a Sheriff to hear the Application. Contact should then be made by telephone with the Children’s Reporter advising of the intention to apply for a child protection order.

The application should be made using the appropriate form and should include details of terms, conditions or directions which should apply to the Order. If there are concerns that disclosure of the child’s address to any relevant person may prejudice the safety of the child

or other member of the child’s household, then an order should be sought from the Sheriff directing non- disclosure of the address, which consequently should not be included in the Form.

It is good practice for the application to be supported by written evidence in the form of a report.

Unless local practice directs otherwise, when appearing before the Sheriff, the social worker should also take copies of the Child Protection Order, Notice to Child, and Notice to a Named Person. Good practice suggests that in any event blank copies of the above should be taken.

Workers should ensure that they carry with them appropriate evidence of their entitlement to undertake the actions for which they seek authorisation in terms of the application. Sheriffs may well demand sight of evidence in this regard.

A Child Protection Order which contains an authorisation to remove a child will cease to have effect at the end of 24 hours if there have been no attempts to implement it during that period. If attempts have been made to implement it but without success (e.g. difficulties accessing child) then the Order ceases to have effect at the end of the period of 6 days.

Serving the order

The order needs to be lawfully served by the applicant. For officers of the local authority the rules specify that the standard methods of legal service available are by first class post, recorded delivery or by fax. However, the applicable rules (Act of Sederunt (Child Care and Maintenance Rules) 1997), also provide that where there is not sufficient time to employ any of the methods specified service can be effected verbally or in such other manner as the Sheriff directs.

Social workers should accordingly ask the Sheriff to direct that they may affect service either by personal delivery and/or verbally. It is suggested that this request is included as a standard part of all applications for child protection orders.

NB Service on any person who might pose a threat of violence should be by Sheriff’s Officer (name and address from Legal Services).

The applicant is responsible for giving notice of the Order using the appropriate forms:

  • The appropriate form should be given to the child, along with copies of the application and the Order (unless otherwise specified). If a child is deemed to be too young, copies of the form should be given to the appropriate carer;
  • The appropriate form should be given to any relevant person within the meaning of Section 81(4)(d) of the Act, along with copies of the application, the order and the explanatory leaflet which gives advice about legal rights.

In addition the following people should be given notice of the Order:

  • The Safeguarder (if any);
  • The Children’s Reporter who must receive the original documents;
  • Any other person whom the Local Authority considers has an interest in the application.

On being granted an order, the social worker should discuss with the child and the child’s family how the order and any conditions should be managed.

The Social Worker should ensure that the case file retains:

  • A copy of the application for an Order;
  • The Interlocutor granting the Order;
  • Any Certificate of Service of an Order.

Steps to be taken

In considering whether an application for a child assessment order is appropriate, it is important to recognise that assessment will be the key to decision-making about the needs of children and their families. The assessment will also consider whether one of the child’s needs is to be protected. In keeping with the principles of the Act such an assessment should, wherever possible, be undertaken without the need for a statutory order, in co-operation with parents, and taking into account the views of the child.

The duty on local authorities ‘to cause inquiries to be made’ under Section 53 of the Act should be explained to parents and the opportunity given for them to explain their point of view. Parents who continue to refuse to allow their child to be seen or assessed should be advised of the options open when there are concerns about a child’s safety, including application for a child assessment order and the effects of this and other child protection measures.

A child assessment order is not an emergency order. The decision to apply for it should be planned, and only be made after a process of consultation with other agencies. When consideration is being given to the necessity for an application for an assessment order, this should be discussed with a social work manager.

Before making a decision about the need for a child assessment order, the social work manager, should, wherever possible, convene and chair a case discussion to consider the matter. Case discussions should involve representatives of appropriate agencies; in particular health and education staff, and consideration should be given as to whether consultation with the Council’s legal services is required at this stage. If appropriate and unless to do so may cause further harm, consideration may be given to including the child and their parents.

The case discussion should consider whether the criteria for a child assessment order are satisfied and should pay particular attention as to whether co-operation may be obtained in any other way, and whether, in all the circumstances, the child assessment order is the most appropriate measure to be sought.

The case discussion should consider any difficulties likely to be encountered in implementing the order, if granted, and in particular should consider whether assistance may be required from the Police/Sheriff Officers to enforce the order.

The service manager, social work, should contact the authority’s legal services to give notice of such a request for assistance.

Varying or recalling the order

Where a CPO has been granted, it is open to the child or any relevant person to apply to the court to have it varied or recalled prior to the 2nd working day hearing or within 2 working days after a 2nd working day hearing where the CPO was continued.

If social work staff have information which suggests that the child or a relevant person intends to make application for variation or recall of the child protection order, Legal Service should be alerted immediately by the social work manager with responsibility for the case or equivalent, and provided with all appropriate background information and a copy of the order. A copy of the application for variation or recall should be passed to Legal Services as soon as it is received as the application has to be determined within three working days.

The local authority can apply to have a CPO varied. If social work staff consider that it is in the interests of the child that the CPO is varied in some way they should consult with Legal Services who will consider making such an application under Section 48.

A copy of the application should be served on the following parties together with the appropriate forms and a copy of the court’s order fixing the hearing

  • The child (unless otherwise specified). The child should also be given a copy of the Notice to Child of Application to Vary or Set Aside Child Protection Order;
  • Any relevant person within the meaning of Section 81(4)(d) of the Act;
  • The Safeguarder (if any);
  • The Principal Reporter.
  • Any other person the Local Authority considers has an interest in the application.

If, after calling, the application is granted the applicant is responsible for giving notice of the variation or recall of a Child Protection Order using copies of the appropriate forms to such persons as the sheriff directs.

Exclusion orders

An exclusion order is a statutory measure available to protect children from significant harm by excluding an alleged abuser from the family home. An exclusion order has the effect of suspending the named person’s rights of occupancy (if any) to the family home in question.

The grounds for Exclusion orders remain those provided under the Children (Scotland) Act 1995. These provisions have not been affected by the 2011 Act.

The Exclusion order prevents the person, whether an occupier or not, from entering the home, except with the express permission of the local authority which applied for the order. A person named in an exclusion order may be the child's parent or a member of the child's family or anyone from whom it is considered necessary to protect a child because of the risk of significant harm or the threat of harm (for example, a visitor to the family home).

The Sheriff when making an exclusion order may do any of the following:

  • Grant a warrant for the summary ejection of the named person from the home;
  • Grant an interdict prohibiting the named person from entering the home without the express permission of the local authority;
  • Grant an interdict prohibiting the removal by the named person of any relevant item specified in the interdict from the home except either.

With the written consent of the local authority, or an appropriate person; or by virtue of a subsequent order of the Sheriff

  • Grant an interdict prohibiting the named person from entering or remaining in a specified area in the vicinity of the home;
  • Grant an interdict prohibiting the taking by the named person of any step of a kind specified in the interdict in relation to the child make an order regulating the contact between the child and the named person.

An exclusion order lasts for 6 months unless it contains a direction by the Sheriff that it shall cease to have effect on an earlier date.

Conditions Required

In terms of Section 76(2) of the Act three conditions must be satisfied before the Sheriff may grant the order. These are that:

The child has suffered, is suffering, or is likely to suffer significant harm as a result of any conduct, or any threatened or reasonably apprehended conduct of the named person.

The order is necessary to protect the child, irrespective of whether the child is for the time being residing in the family home; and would better safeguard the child's welfare than removal of the child from the home

There will be a person in the family home able to take responsibility for providing appropriate care for the child who is the subject of the order and any other family member who needs care.

Even when a sheriff decides that an exclusion order is necessary s/he will not make the order if it appears unjustified or unreasonable having regard to all the circumstances of the case. The circumstances that s/he will consider are:

The conduct of the members of the child's family

The needs and financial situation of the family members

The extent to which the home is used for a family member's trade or profession and likely consequences.

The sheriff, when considering whether to make, vary or discharge an exclusion order must, taking into account the child’s age and maturity, give them an opportunity to express their views if they so wish and the sheriff must have regard to any views expressed. In accordance with the Rules of Court, how the sheriff seeks the views of the child is for him/her to determine.

Steps to be Taken

When consideration is being given to the necessity for an application for an exclusion order, this should be discussed with a social work service manager.

Case discussions should involve representatives of appropriate agencies, in particular health, education and housing staff and also the local authority's legal services. Consideration should also be given to inviting the person who will be left responsible for giving continued care of the child.

The case discussion should consider whether the criteria for an exclusion order are satisfied and should pay particular attention as to whether co-operation may be obtained in any other way, and whether in all the circumstances an exclusion order is the most appropriate measure to be sought.

The case discussion should consider any difficulties likely to be encountered in implementing the order, if granted, and in particular should consider whether assistance may be required from the police/sheriff officers to enforce the order.

It is unlikely that an exclusion order will be used to provide emergency protection for a child. Where emergency protection is required an interim order should be sought. This has the same effect as an exclusion order but can be granted immediately by the sheriff before the court hearing takes place. If the court hearing is not held within three working days then the interim exclusion order will fall.

Exclusion orders may also be used when a child protection order has been granted. This is the case where it is in the best interests of the child to be returned home and the suspected adult perpetrator, who still poses a risk to the child, will not voluntarily leave the home.

Information Required

The main determinants of the decision to seek an Order will be evidence of:

  • The degree of harm suspected;
  • The occurrence or likelihood of this harm;
  • The extent to which attempts to proceed with parental co-operation have failed.

Where a decision has been made to seek an order, the case discussion should consider the need for the provision of information from each appropriate agency to support the application, who will do the assessment, where it will take place and timescale for completion.

This may include, for example, school or health visitor reports.

Where a decision has been made to seek an order the case discussion should consider the need for the involvement of relevant staff from each appropriate agency. This may range from the provision of information towards the assessment, to active involvement in the assessment process. The minute of the case discussion should record decisions made in this regard, and agencies should be requested to confirm their views and concerns in writing.

The minute should also record the views of the child and how they have been ascertained. If the views of the child have not been obtained the minute should indicate the reason for this.

Finally, the minute should record decisions of the case discussion regarding any directions or conditions that may require to be sought in terms of Section 55 of the Act.

Procedure for Making an Application

The investigating social workers will discuss the application with both the team and service manager, social work, or equivalent, who will then agree arrangements concerning the application. The social work manager will also liaise with the appropriate police personnel in charge of any investigation into allegations of abuse.

Once it is clear that there are sufficient grounds for making an application and all other voluntary options have been considered, during office hours either consult directly or delegate any named individual to consult with Legal Services. A decision should also be

made at this stage about whether, and if so, which social work personnel should accompany the solicitor making the application.

It is the legal section's responsibility to prepare an application for the sheriff. However, the team manager and the social worker will require to give details of any terms and conditions or directions which should be attached to the order to the appropriate solicitor in the legal section.

Serving the Order

The order needs to be lawfully served by the applicant. For officers of the local authority the rules specify that the standard methods of legal service available are by first class post, recorded delivery or by fax.

However, the applicable rules (Act of Sederunt (Child Care and Maintenance Rules) 1997), also provide that where there is not sufficient time to employ any of the methods specified service can be effected verbally or in such other manner as the Sheriff directs.

Social workers should accordingly ask the Sheriff to direct that they may effect service either by personal delivery and/or verbally. It is suggested that this request is included as a standard part of all applications for child protection orders.

NB Service on any person who might pose a threat of violence should be by Sheriff's Officer (name and address from Legal Services).

The applicant is responsible for giving notice of the Order using the following forms:

Form 50 should be given to the child, along with copies of the application and the Order (unless otherwise specified). If a child is deemed to be too young, copies of the form should be given to the appropriate carer.

Form 51 should be given to any relevant person within the meaning of Section 93(2)(b) of the Act, along with copies of the application, the order and the explanatory leaflet which gives advice about legal rights.

In addition the following people should be given notice of the Order:

  • The Safeguarder (if any);
  • The Children's Reporter who must receive the original documents;
  • Any other person whom the Local Authority considers has an interest in the application.

On being granted an order, the social worker should discuss with the child and the child's family how the order and any conditions should be managed.

The Social Worker should ensure that the case file retains:

  • A copy of the application for an Order;
  • The Interlocutor granting the Order;
  • Any Certificate of Service of an Order.

Out of Hours

The social worker should contact the relevant social work manager. The home telephone numbers of these personnel can be obtained through their organisations. The following are the public numbers for stand by’ or ‘out of hours’ services that cover selected local authority areas in the West of Scotland CP consortium area.

Covering

  • Dumfries and Galloway, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire - 0800 811 505;
  • North Lanarkshire - 0800 121 4114;
  • South Lanarkshire - 0800 678 3282;
  • East, North and South Ayrshire - 0800 328 7758;
  • Argyll and Bute Social Work Emergency Service - 01631 566491.

The procedures outlined above would then be followed by accessing the department's 'outwith working hours emergency contact list' which contains details of how to access legal services, the sheriff clerk and the sheriff.

In the absence of a legal representative, it should be the service manager, children and families, or equivalent who will make a decision regarding the application.

Compulsory Supervision Orders

Not all child protection matters will require to be managed on an emergency basis using emergency orders. The use of Compulsory Supervision Orders can allow for the protection of vulnerable children, including their removal from home, on a planned and longer term basis. Without a Compulsory Supervision Order or Interim Compulsory Supervision Order, agencies are reliant on the voluntary cooperation of families, even for children placed on the Child Protection Register. It is therefore important that all assessments consider whether a Compulsory Supervision Order might be necessary.

Section 60 of the Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011 imposes on the local authority a duty to refer a child to the Reporter where the local authority consider (a) the child is in need of protection, guidance, treatment or control, and (b) it might be necessary for a compulsory supervision order to be made in relation to the child. When making such a referral the local authority must give any information that it has about the child to the Reporter. The Reporter must then make a decision as to whether, in his/her view, a compulsory supervision order is required.

It should be noted that the threshold for referral to the Reporter is NOT the “significant harm” threshold.

Factors to consider when deciding whether a compulsory supervision order might be necessary include:

  • The seriousness of the concern / risk to the child;
  • Whether the family understand and accept the areas for concern;
  • Their motivation and capacity to address the areas of concern;
  • Their willingness and ability to engage with and cooperate with supports;
  • Whether supports offered on a voluntary basis have evidenced adequate improvements.

Criminal Injuries Compensation

Children who have suffered significant harm either within or outwith the family as a result of abuse may be eligible for criminal injuries compensation. Other children or non-abusing adults who have a relationship with the abused child may also be eligible for compensation if they are secondary victims.

Applications for a claim should be made within two years from the date of the crime but the time limit can be waived in any case if the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board thinks it is reasonable or it is in the interests of justice to do so Professionals should be aware of this scheme and should consider whether any child for whom they are responsible is eligible to apply. They should also ensure that applications are progressed timeously.

Consideration as to whether or not the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme may apply should be a standing item at all initial and review child protection case conferences (or 'Looked After' Reviews if appropriate). It is the responsibility of the chair of the review to ensure that reasons are recorded within the appropriate minutes as to why the decision was reached whether to proceed or not to proceed with an application.

Negligence

It is crucial that scrutiny is given to the above as the Local Authority can be held liable if it fails to make a claim. Action may also be taken against the Local Authority if it accepts an inadequate offer of compensation on behalf of a child.

Children and young people who have been abused in residential care are also entitled to claim compensation.

Full details of the scheme including application forms and notes of guidance can be obtained direct from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority, Tay House, 300 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4JR (Tel 0141 331 2726 or 0800 3583601.