Child protection enquiries are undertaken when there is a reported suspicion that a child is suffering, or likely to suffer, significant harm. Such are often referred to as Section 47 Enquiries as they are covered in Section 47 of the Children Act 1989.
The Children Act requires it of social services that they carry out such an enquiry, so as to to decide if action need be taken to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child.
When Can Child Protection Enquiries be undertaken?
A child protection enquiry must be immediately undertaken when:
- There is reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm in the form of physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect;
- An Emergency Protection Order or use of police powers of protection have been used.
Who Undertakes Child Protection Enquiries?
Responsibility for carrying out child protection enquiries lies with the local authority in whose area the child lives or is found.
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By found is meant the physical location where the child suffers the incident of harm or neglect (or is identified to be at risk of harm or neglect). This could be one of any number of locations, not just the child’s home, e.g. day nursery or school, boarding school, hospital, one-off event such as a fairground, holiday home or outing or where a privately fostered or looked after child is living with their carers.
Where the harm occurs – or where concerns are raised that a child stands at risk of being harmed or neglected – away from home, it is the local authority of that area who must take responsibility for informing the child’s home authority immediately and inviting them to participate in the strategy meeting/discussion to plan action to protect the child.
This responsibility – and the responsibility to take emergency action where warranted – is only alleviated once agreements have been reached over who will be responsible for that point onwards. Such agreements must be made as soon as possible and confirmed in writing.Contact Us Now
Brendan Fleming Solicitors are nationally recognized as a leading choice in the area of care work. We are justifiably proud of our expertise and our success rate. We are contracted to the Legal Services Commission for this type of work and are considered to be one of the leading national firms for publicly funded services.
Our principal, Brendan Fleming, has won a reputation for his innovative approach, spearheading many new ways of securing justice for families caught in the care proceedings trap. He is a member of a select children’s panel and recognized and approved by the Law Society.
If social services are carrying out a child protection enquiry on your child and need a Care Proceedings Solicitor to help you, contact Brendan Fleming today.