• Accommodated children

Parents may agree to having their child removed or ‘accommodated’ by Children’s Services under section 20 of the Children Act 1989, while an investigation and assessment is carried out.

  • Acquired Gender
Acquired gender is the gender which a person over 18 has been living as, or has changed gender to outside of the UK, who applies for a gender recognition certificate.
  • Advocate
The role of an advocate is to: Make sure a young person can make their wishes and feelings known, attend decision making meetings on behalf of, or with the young person, provide unbiased information to the young person, support the young person, make sure that the young person’s legal rights are upheld and that they are fairly treated, and help the young person to make a complaint if they wish to do so.
  • Associated Person
An associated person is a person who is connected to a perpetrator of domestic violence and can apply for a Non Molestation or Occupation Order. An associated person could include a civil partner, a wife or a husband, the father or mother of the child, a family relation or a long-term partner.
  • CAFCASS
CAFCASS is the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service. They are an organisation who provide specialist social workers who are experienced at dealing with family problems. They carry out safeguarding checks and can prepare a report dealing with the best interests of the child(ren) involved in court proceedings.
  • Care Order
Where a child is at risk of significant harm and a parent cannot meet the child’s needs, the Local Authority can apply for a Care Order to acquire Parental Responsibility for the child. An interim Care Order can be made to place the child in Local Authority care whilst other investigations are made.
  • Child Arrangements Order
An order governing:a) Whom a child is to live with, and b) Whom the child should have contact with and when this should occur.This replaces orders previously known as ‘Contact’ and ‘Residence’ orders.
  • Child Arrangements Order Allowance
A person who is named in a Child Arrangements Order can ask the Local Authority to provide financial support through a Child Arrangements Order allowance. You should check your Local Authority policy on Child Arrangements Order allowances for further details.
  • Child in need
Under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989, Local Authorities have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children within their area if they are in need. A child is in need when they are disabled or they are unlikely to achieve a reasonable standard of health or development or if a child’s health or development is likely to be significantly impaired if services are not offered to him or her.
  • Child Protection
The actions and measures taken to protect a child from abuse or ill-treatment.
  • Child Protection Case Conference
A conference used to establish whether the child should be referred to as a ‘child subject to a child protection plan’ and to decide whether future action is required to safeguard and promote the child’s welfare. It should include relevant family members, the child (where appropriate) and supporters, advocates and relevant professionals.
  • Child Protection Plan
For all those children who have been identified at a Child Protection Conference as being at a continuing risk of significant harm, a Child Protection Plan will be created. This is a plan setting out what steps and provisions are needed to safeguard a child’s welfare and minimise all risks of harm to a child.
  • Child Protection Register
In April 2008, the Child Protection Register (CPR) ceased to exist. The term now used is ‘children subject to a Child Protection Plan’.
  • Common Assessment Framework
This is a standardised framework for practitioners to use to assess a child’s needs to determine if any additional support should be put in place to meet these needs. Parental involvement is encouraged and parent’s consent should be obtained before an assessment is carried out.
  • Consent Order
An agreement by parties as to arrangements for children which is formally approved by the Family Court.
  • Contact centre
A child contact centre is a safe environment where children of separated families can spend time with one or both parents and sometimes other family members. If there are concerns about the non-resident parent having unsupervised contact with a child, contact centres can be used for supported contact, supervised contact, escorted contact and in some circumstances handover.
  • Contact order
A legally binding order requiring the resident party/parent to make the child available for contact with the person named in the order.
  •  Disclosure of the child’s whereabouts
A person can make an application to ask the court to take steps to locate a child’s whereabouts. The court will contact Police and Children’s Services to take steps to trace the child and this will be disclosed to the applicant if in the child’s best interests. The application is made using form C4.
  •  Education Health and Care Needs Assessment
This is an assessment carried out by a Local Authority to determine whether an Education, Health and Care Plan is necessary in order to meet the child’s needs to ensure additional support is put in place for them to benefit fully from their education. This can be requested by a child’s school, a parent or a young person aged 16-25.
  •  Education Health and Care Plan
These plans replace the previous Statements of Special Educational Needs. This is a legally binding document which details a child’s Special Educational Needs and outlines what provision should be put in place relating to a child’s educational, health and care needs.
  •  Emergency Protection Order
A short term order to remove a child from immediate risk of harm and allow the Local Authority to investigate. It lasts 8 days and can be extended for a further 7 days. The holder of this order would temporarily get Parental Responsibility for the child.
  •  Exclusion
A form of lawful punishment a school can give to a child. Students can be excluded from school on either a fixed-term or permanent basis. A fixed-term exclusion is for a specific, limited period of time. A pupil can be excluded on a fixed-term basis for a maximum of 45 days in any school year. Lunch time exclusions count for a half day in England. A fixed-term exclusion should be for the shortest possible time, and children should not be excluded for an unspecified period of time. A permanent exclusion involves the child being removed from the school roll (but this should only happen once there has been an unsuccessful appeal against the exclusion or once the time period in which an appeal must be lodged has passed).
  •  Guardian
A Guardian can be appointed in court proceedings to act on behalf of the child who is the subject of the proceedings. A Guardian is usually a Cafcass officer who is appointed to ascertain the child’s views and to conduct proceedings on the child’s behalf. The court will only appoint a Guardian in particular circumstances, for example, when parents cannot represent the child’s wishes, a report is insufficient or a child opposes a proposed course of action. A Guardian may also be appointed if there are serious allegations of harm.
  •  Independent Review Panel
An independent review panel which can review an exclusion. The panel can uphold an exclusion, recommend that it is looked at again or quash the decision and direct that it is reconsidered. It cannot force a pupil to be reinstated.
  •  Independent Reviewing Officer
A person employed by children’s services who chairs reviews for children living in care and duty is to ensure that the care plan meets the child’s needs.
  •  Individual Healthcare Plan
A plan agreed with the school setting out how a child’s health needs will be met, including when and by whom.
  •  Kinship care
Kinship care is an arrangement where a child who cannot be cared for by their parents goes to live with a relative or a family friend.
  •  Local Authority
Overall Administrative Body for your geographic area.
  •  Looked after children
Children in Local Authority care who are provided with somewhere to live by Children’s Services. Parents can either agree to this, or a court can order children to be ‘looked after’.
  •  Outcomes
In the context of Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP), outcomes are the benefit or difference made to an individual as a result of intervention. These will be listed in the EHCP and should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound in line with the SMART framework.Outcomes should be regularly reviewed and agreed. Outcomes cannot be challenged in the SEN Tribunal.Once an outcome is achieved, a local authority may cease to maintain the EHCP.
  • Sarah’s Law
A law giving an individual the right to ask the police to check whether a person having contact with children poses a risk to the children.
  •  Section 37 Report
In private family law proceedings a court can direct the Local Authority to investigate a child’s circumstances where there are welfare concerns and a Care or Supervision Order may be appropriate.
  • Section 47 Enquiry
A comprehensive child protection investigation carried out by Children’s Services. The assessment will look at the child’s developmental needs, relevant family and environmental factors and the parenting capacity of the main carers for the child.
  •  Section 7 Report
In private family law proceedings a court can ask the Local Authority and/or a CAFCASS officer to produce a report on the child’s welfare.
  •  Section 8 Order
Orders under section 8 of the Children Act 1989. These are: A Child Arrangements Order, A Specific Issue Order, A Prohibited Steps Order.
  •  SEN Mediation
In some situations there is a requirement to attempt mediation to resolve a dispute about the contents of an Education, Health and Care Plan before appealing to the First Tier Tribunal.
  •  SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator)
Every school must have a Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator. Their role is to ensure that all special needs provisions are met at the school and to ensure additional SEN support is provided to those who require extra support.
  •  Special Educational Needs

A term used to describe a child who has a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for him/her.

  •  Supervision Order
Where a child is at risk of significant harm, a Supervision Order can be made for the Local Authority to advise, assist and befriend the child. The Local Authority will not acquire Parental Responsibility for the child.