Care Order's And Looked After Child (LAC).
Secure Accommodation Criteria.
Secure Accommodation explained ...
Section 25 of the Children Act 1989 sets out the welfare criteria which must be met before a Looked After child may be placed in secure accommodation.
The welfare criteria's are ....
• The child has a history of absconding and is likely to abscond from any other secured accommodation.
• If the child absconds, there likely to suffer Significant Harm.
• If the child is kept in any other secured accommodation there likely to injure themselves or others.
The use of secure accommodation should be for the minimum period necessary, following an assessment of likely risk to the child, others and public safety.
• A child must not continue to have there liberty restricted once the criteria ceases to apply, even if there is a Secure Accommodation Order is still in existence.
• The Service Director can approve such placements for up to 72 hours in an emergency.
• Only a Court can grant permission for placements beyond 72 hours.
• A Looked After child who meets the above criteria may be placed in secure accommodation for a maximum period of 72 hours in any 28 days period without a Secure Accommodation Order (except where the 72 hour period expires on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday when the period can be extended to the next working day).
• A Court may authorise a child to be kept in secure accommodation for a maximum period of 3 months on the first application to the Court. Then a further period of 6 months on subsequent applications to the Court.
A Looked After child may not be placed in secure accommodation on welfare grounds where .....
• They are under the age of 13, unless the Secretary of State gives prior specific approval.
• They are over 18 years of age and has asked to be Accommodated.
• Where there Accommodated and a parent objects to a secure placement.
• If they are detained under any provision of the Mental Health Act 1983.
Secure Accommodation Orders, section 25, children Act 1989.....
These Orders enable the Local Authority to place a child in secure accommodation.
The court can make a Secure Accommodation Order where .....
• A young person has a history of running away, is likely to run away from any other kind of accommodation and if he runs away likely yo suffer significant harm.
• If the young person is not kept in secure accommodation he is likely to injure himself or others.
The local Authority does not need to make an application to the court to keep a child in secure accommodation for the first 72 hours, however if a further period of secure accommodation is required an order to the court must be made. The court cannot make a Secure Accommodation Order unless the child is legally represented in court.
Regardless of how long the order last the Local Authority must remove the child from secure accommodation if he no longer meets the criteria for an order. The local Authority will conduct regular reviews of the placement to monitor the child's progress in the secure setting. The plans will also address the future plans for the child once they have left secure accommodation.
The local Authority must make arrangements for contact between the child and his parents whilst the child is subject to a Secure Accommodation order or if satisfied that it is not in the best I interests of the child for contact to take place make an application to the court under section 34(4) of the child Act 1989 to suspend or stop contact.
if you are the child then try sending this template to the director of children services.
I am ... And I reside in your authorities care.
I wish to raise a formal complaint regarding my care.
..., my named social worker for my case, told me that he/she is putting me in a residential home.
As a local authority you are bound by the Children Act 89, and the Adoption and Children Act 2002 & 2004 to follow my wishes and feelings.
The social worker is using the residential home as a form of punishment for my behaviour and attitude, which has been severely damaging to my emotional stability and I feel your authority failed to support me with.
To punish me by putting me in a care home is disgusting behaviour and by ultra virus (beyond their powers and duties)
I have stated repeatedly I do not wish to remain in care. I want to live with my mum. However your authority continuously ignore my wishes and feelings, and act as though I never raised my wishes and feelings.
Not only is this breach of the relevant acts of parliament which give your authority its powers, bht this amounts to emotional abuse to myself on behalf of your local authority.
I will not lie, I have lost my temper with the social worker on many occasions but it is to be expected considering the treatment I have gone through at the hands of someone under your authority. I do not feel that I have acted unreasonably, when you consider that this social worker continuously lies about my care and dismisses my wishes and feelings as unimportant at every opportunity.
Your authority is supposed to help me, and ensure that my wishes and feelings are followed to the letter.
I am disgusted that a residential care home is being used as a form of punishment for me and this entire situation is causing me severe distress as a young people.
I am tired of being ignored and therefore raise this complaint.
Supervision Orders explained ...
A Supervision Order does not mean that the Local Authority shares parental responsibility with you but the appointed supervisor who is usually a social worker or sometimes a probation officer to simply provide advice, befriend or to just simply assist your child. This may require the child to live in a specific place or to do certain things in a way or they may have to report to a certain place. In which case the supervisor can become directly involved in the life of your child.
Sometimes there are special conditions relating to the medical treatment of the child. A Supervision Order can be varied or discharged just the same as a care order.
An important difference between a Supervision Order and a Care Order is that a Supervision Order does not give Parental Responsibility to the Local Authority.
A supervision order can last for one year, and may be extended yearly to a total of 3 years. It will last until the child reaches the age of 18, unless discharged at an earlier date.
Children discharging their own care orders.
This is a little piece of information that you should all bare in mind with regards to revoking and discharging orders.
Its a little known fact that a child aged 13+ is legally of an age known as gillick competent and where they can apply to discharge or revoke their own orders.
To do this the child simply needs to find a solicitor who deals with family court cases and who is prepared to represent children. Children are entitled to free legal representation all the solicitor needs to do is submit an application using the c2 form asking the courts for permission to hear your case to discharge your own care order and using the form a52 revokation of a care order and to be able to show the court that they understand what it means for them if they are successful that they have a sufficient enough knowledge to understand the actual proceedings.
my admin jade has advised several children when they want to go home and aren't being listened to and their families have been unsuccessful themselves.
The court has to listen when the child applies because ultimately their wishes and feelings have to be taken into account with all cases for any order including contact etc. This would not work for younger children as they aren't deemed to have the knowledge or mental capacity to understand this but teens are able to do this and they don't need a social worker to do it for them or get the forms. If your child is wanting to return home, is struggling in care, their needs aren't being met or whatever this may be something you could consider with your child.
The difficulty comes when getting info across to the child where supervised contact takes place as they consider as having adult conversations. Ultimately the local authority prefer when parents aren't "in the loop or knowing" about what they can do to fight for their children, and don't like when a child is informed of their rights.
Excuses like trying to deliberately destabilise the placement or emotional harm by discussing these things are likely to follow so for that reason its advised that this is not discussed during a supervised contact session, for risk of losing your contact.
This is something all parents and children (of an appropriate age) need to know. Bare this in mind when your child is screaming and fighting to come home.