Child protection policies

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear Argyll and Bute Council,

Please could you provide me with your guidelines, policies, and procedures for the handling of child protection cases where a child is under a compulsory supervision order / SR or Permanence Order / PRO.

This should include but not be limited to guidance, policies, and procedures for:
- provision of child advocacy before a decision is made regarding application for a Permanence Order.
- when health care professionals formally object to the timing of a decision to apply for a Permanence Order.
- invitation of the child's GP to attend reviews
- review of the care by an independent social worker when health care professionals raise concerns about the actions of the assigned case social worker (for example, where health care professionals have concerns the case worker has demonstrated biased or has acted inappropriately).

Yours faithfully,

Dr Robert S. Coull

NOTE: This request has also been sent to the ABHSCP. It is not clear which organisation holds the information.

Administrator, Argyll and Bute Council

Dear Robert S. Coull

Request for information: Child protection policies

Thank you for your information request which we have logged as reference

It has been passed to the relevant service(s) for attention and you should
receive a response under either the Freedom of Information (Scot) Act 2002
or the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 by 2020-03-12

Please quote the reference number above in any correspondence you may have
with the Council in regard to this request.


FOI Officer

Privacy information: Any personal information you have provided in
relation to this request will be used only for the intended purpose -
please read the full privacy notice to find out more about how your
personal information will be handled, and your rights under data
protection legislation.

Sinclair, David (Risk Management Assistant), Argyll and Bute Council

2 Atodiad

Classification: OFFICIAL

Dear Mr Coull


Request for information: Child protection policies

Reference: argyllbuteir:11312.


I refer to your request for information which was dealt with in terms of
the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA).


I have provided the following information in fulfilment of your request:


The actions with regard to seeking a Permanence order are set in statute




And associated regulations




Permanence orders were introduced by the Adoption and Children (Scotland)
Act 2007. Permanence orders can only be applied for by the local authority
and are designed to safeguard a child who will not be returning home.  A
permanence order will remove the child from the children's hearing system
and can last until the child reaches the age of 18.  A permanence order
can allow foster carers (and others caring for children including other
family members) to have some or all of the parental rights and
responsibilities needed to make day-to-day decisions affecting the child.


Permanence orders consist of two parts which are


*Mandatory provisions - this gives the local authority the parental
responsibility to provide the child with guidance and the parental right
to control where the child lives.


*Ancillary provisions - the ancillary provisions are particular to each
individual child and their circumstances. The local authority and/or any
other person may be given some or all of the parental responsibilities,
including responsibility of guidance (except the mandatory right of
residence). Ancillary provisions can include contact arrangements, matters
in relation to passport applications or foreign travel, and issues
relative to medical consent for the child. The main guideline is that they
should always be in the best interests of the child. Parents may have some
or all responsibilities and/or rights removed but not necessarily.


Court rules ask the local authority which sort of permanence order they
are applying for, but thereafter the timescales for the process are the
same whether the aim is to obtain a permanence order as the means of
securing the plan for the child or a permanence order with authority for
adoption. The granting by the court of any order or provision within an
order are a matter for the court to determine in the best interests of the
child and on due consideration of the facts. Parents are parties to the
proceedings and entitled to representation.


Key points about permanence orders

*A permanence order may be a destination order in itself or it may be a
route to adoption.

*Both types are very flexible and signal that a child is not going home.

*Every permanence order gives the local authority the mandatory provision.

*Every permanence order may also have 'extras' called ancillary

*The consent of a child of 12 or over is required unless the child is
incapable of consenting for any reason.

*The child's welfare throughout childhood is the paramount consideration
for the court.

*The child's views must be considered by the court.

*When the permanence order is granted the court or a children's hearing
may terminate the supervision requirement.

*The permanence order may be varied or revoked.

*It does not last beyond 18.

*The child is a looked after child.

*It doesn't extinguish the child's legal identity as a member of her/his
birth family, unless it is a permanence order with authority for adoption.

*It can only be applied for by a local authority.


Where children are subject to orders from the children's panel there is
additional independent scrutiny of decision making




There is no formal mechanism for a health professional to formally object
to the timing of a decision to apply for a Permanence Order,  however
their views and any concerns should be given due consideration in any
decision making and would also be considered at the Agency decision making
Panel , which included designated health advisor and consideration of any
health issues which may impact on the decisions.


It is unusual for a GP to be invited to a review of a child in care and
the health needs of the child are usually represented by a member of the
child health team , named person if under 5 yrs and School nurse or
Advanced Nurse Vulnerable Groups. Where invited to child protection or
other planning meetings in respect of vulnerable children GP attendance is
very rare.


Should a health care professional, or any other professional,  have
concerns about the actions of the assigned case social worker these would
usually be raised with line managers and there are well established
mechanisms to raise, investigate and respond to concerns dependent on the
nature of the concerns or an allegation.


Further national guidance on Permanence practice can be found on the PACE
section of the CELCIS website




Child Protection Procedures


The work of social workers is covered primarily by:


·         National Child Protection Guidelines

·         West of Scotland child protection procedures

·         Local Child protection procedures guidance and protocols

·         Additional specific guidance form Scottish Government


All can be accessed through



The conduct of reviews for looked after children is set out in statute and




If you are dissatisfied with the way in which your request for information
has been dealt with you are entitled to request a review by writing to the
Executive Director Customer Services, Argyll and Bute Council, Kilmory,
Lochgilphead, Argyll PA31 8RT, or by email to [7][Argyll and Bute Council request email].


Your request for review must state your name and address for
correspondence, specify the request for information to which your request
for review relates and why you are dissatisfied with the response. 


You must make your request for review not later than 40 working days after
the expiry of the 20 working day period for response to your initial
request by the Council, or not later than 40 working days after the
receipt by you of the information provided, any fees notice issued or any
notification of refusal or partial refusal.


If you make an application for review and remain dissatisfied with the way
in which the review has been dealt with you are entitled to make an
application to the Scottish Information Commissioner, Kinburn Castle,
Doubledykes Road, St Andrews, Fife KY16 9DS (Tel: 01334 464610) for a
further review. You can now do this online here -


You must make representation to the Scottish Information Commissioner no
later than 6 months after the date of receipt by you of the notice or
decision you are dissatisfied with or within 6 months of the expiry of the
period of 20 working days from receipt by the Council of your request for


Yours sincerely,


David Sinclair

Compliance and Regulatory Assistant

Legal and Regulatory Support/Compliance

Argyll & Bute Council


PA31 8RT





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