Unit 10 - Explain why children may be taken into care. Describe types of neglect and abuse.

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Lissa Williams

Unit 10 – Caring for children and young people

Pass one – Outline why children and young people may need to be looked after away from their families

Children’s Act 1989, 2004

Section 3 (1) in this act parental responsibility means all rights, duties, power, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent or a child has in relation to the child and their property.

Children’s Act 1989, describes how local authorities should carry out their responsibilities in relation to care planning, placement and case review for looked after children. These responsibilities are designed to support the local authority in its primary duty set out in section 22(3) of the 1989 Act to safeguard and promote the welfare of the looked after child and to act as good corporate parents to enable each looked after child to achieve his/her full potential in life.

A key principle of the 1989 Act is that children are best looked after within their families, with their parents playing a full part in their lives, unless compulsory intervention in family life is necessary.

Children in Care

This is where the local authority has gone to court for a care order, usually against a parents’ wishes. The local authority may place the child with relatives, with foster carers or in a community (or residential) home until he/she’s 18 years old or the court end the order. Under the  a council can apply for a care order if it believes a child is suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm. If you agree to your child becoming ‘looked after’ and there is no care order, you’ll continue to have parental responsibility for your child.

Children are put into care because their parents lack to show responsibility for them, or they are under the influence of drugs/alcohol and can appear abusive and a threat to the child’s life.

 Legal duties under the children act 1989

Child assessment order (sec 43) under which the child can be seen and assessed, It must only be requested if the applicant has reason to believe that the child is likely to suffer significant harm or that an assessment is required to determine if the child is likely to suffer significant harm.

Emergency protection order (sec 44) under which the child can be kept in, or removed to, a particular place (hospital or home). The court will only take the order further if it’s believed a child is likely in danger and harm, and that the order is both necessary and proportionate to the level of risk posed to the child.

A care or supervision order (sec 31) the LA can decide where the child is to live until he/she is 18 years old. The LA has 3 duties towards the child under the SO; to advise, befriend and assist the child, to take steps that are necessary to give the order full effect and if the order is not followed then to consider whether to vary the order, attach requirements to it or even substitute it for a care order. Sometimes the children may not be taken into care, but you may have to be supervised by Social Services for a while to make sure the children are well cared for, this is called a "Supervision Order

The foster placement regulations 1991

The child must be visited regularly in the foster home officer by a local authority. Foster parents must give information about their health, accommodation, religion and cultural background and capacity to care for a child of a particular racial/ethnic origin, culture or linguistic background. Children in foster care deserve to be treated as a good parent would treat their own children and to have the opportunity for as full an experience of family life and childhood as possible, without unnecessary restrictions.

Parental reasons

Parental reasons can lead a child to be put in foster care; the reasons are as followed;

Family related reasons

The main factor and reason children normally go into foster care is based on their family.  Their family may experience financial problems, where they can’t take responsibility for their child nor provide food and support for them. In some cases, a parent may be very ill and unable to work or care for a child. The death of a parent may also make it difficult for the other parent to provide the care a child needs. Parents who are in incarcerated may lose custody of their children until they have served their sentences.

Suspected abuse

Suspected abuse can include physical and sexual abuse. Physical abuse usually means to the extreme, where bruising is left on a child and numerous attempts to help a family learn alternative means of disciple have failed, and sexual abuse can include persuading or forcing a child to take part in sexual activities, or encouraging a child to behave in sexually inappropriate ways. Any forms of this in household, social services will get involved and remove the child from the house and put them into care.


Though rare, as there is usually family available to care for a child after the death of a parent, there have been cases when children do enter foster care after the death of a parent. 

Child maltreatment, sometimes referred to as child abuse and neglect, includes all forms of physical and emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect, and exploitation that results in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, development or dignity, this will lead the child to going into care.

Loss of parent

A loss of parent to a child, leaves a child with no adult responsibility, if under the age of 18, therefore this child will be taking into care to be properly looked after.

Child or young person related e.g. health problems, learning difficulties, as a result of committing an offence

Parental illness

A parent being physically and mentally ill, will result to them not raising their child with full responsibility, from having lack of responsibility and full control over themselves,  if this is noticed by social services they will make the decision to place the child in a better place.

Behavioural problems

The child can have behaviour problems to an extent (anger management) where their parents aren’t able to handle them properly and they are out of hand, the parents can seek help elsewhere too, but care can also be an option.

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Jamie Bulger case

Robert Thompson and Jon Venables became Britain’s most notorious child killers in 1993 after murdering the two year old James Bulger. Outrage turned to shock when photographs of the two 10 year olds were released, showing a pair of frightened children. The two friends were both from broken homes. Robert Thompson who was described as quiet yet friendly, came from a dysfunctional family in which both parents were heavy drinkers and his six brothers fought constantly even threatening to knife each other. His father, who beat and sexually abused his wife and children, left the family ...

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