The Children's Act

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The Children’s Act 1989

The children’s act is the primary legislation relating to the welfare of children.

The act was created to provide services and support for children and young people and their families.

The act covers all children and young people under the age of 18.

The main purpose of child protection is to keep 5the child safe and secure protecting them from harm.

The key features of the act are:

  • The Paramountcy principle – parents wished can be over ridden if these are considered not the best interests for the child.

  •  Wherever possible children should be brought up in their own family and kept with in the wider family circle.

  • Children and parents in need should be supported.

  • Children should be kept safe and are protected with interventions if they are in danger.

  • Courts should ensure delays are avoided.

  • Children should be kept informed and should participate in all decision making.

  • Parents will continue to have parental responsibilities.


Local authorities have a statutory duty to investigate any reported cases of child abuse in order to protect the child from harm. Abuse could be in the form of verbal, sexual or physical punishment or emotional torture. When the child protection conference is convened a decision may be made to place the child on the child protection register. Both the child and their parents will then be supported by social services to try and avoid any further difficulties.

There are several ways in which help can be provided in emergency situations, these can include:

Emergency protection orders - This is a crisis situation where a child needs immediate help. Social services will make an


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