The Children Act 1989


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  • Children are able to express their preferences' & views and these have to be ‘listened to’, in other words taken into consideration.
  • Parents have ‘responsibilities’ which they must accept.
  • The local authority must work in partnership with parents.
  • Children have ‘rights’. People who are dealing with children cannot just ‘do things to them’ or ‘make arrangements for them’ without their consent or without listening to their opinions.
  • Details are provided about the circumstances under which children can be ‘taken into care’ but it is clear that such action should only be taken as a last resort.


  • There is little accountability of social care workers involved in case. In other words social workers are not held to account by others outside their department.
  • Court cases that involve child protection are heard privately so there can be no public scrutiny of procedures.
  • Children under the age of 10 years old are considered to be old enough to be held accountable e.g. committing criminal offences/crime.


* 2004 Victoria Climbie case- services not communicating
* Act protects children from abuse and harm
* Covers children and young people from under 18
* Support to be provided to keep families together where this is all possible


Sam Morran


A nice summary - short but useful for building an argument.

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