This chapter was reviewed locally and updated as required in November 2015.
An Interim Supervision Order may be issued at any point during care proceedings, and a Supervision Order at the conclusion of care proceedings. The order may be made only if the threshold for Significant Harm is met and requires the Local Authority to "advise, assist and befriend" a child. It is also possible to have conditions imposed on the child or carers.
2. Use of Supervision Orders
A Supervision Order (or interim) will be used predominantly in two situations:
2.1 Placement with alternative carer
This is often when a child is placed with a family member on a private law order and it is identified that these carers will continue to need support with their care of the child and/or in managing contact with a parent. The threshold is met by virtue of the circumstances from which the child has been removed, and must not return to, but they are not at risk of harm in this placement.
These children will be treated as Children in Need and a Child in Need plan should be drawn up, in line with the Care Plan agreed in Court. The child should be visited in line with the CiN plan and the case reviewed by a CiN Reviewing Officer within 4 weeks of the making of the Order or Interim Order. The Court care plan should be made available to the Reviewing Officer. There should be a clear contingency plan which includes that the case can be immediately referred back to Court in the event the placement breaks down or the child is at risk of significant harm.
Subsequent reviews will be at 6-monthly intervals but should include a review one to two months before the expiry of the order to confirm the Local Authority plan as to whether or not there should be an application to Court to extend the Order (up to a maximum of 3 years). All reviews should be chaired by a CiN Reviewing Officer. All other activity will be in accordance with Child in Need procedures.
2.2 Remaining at home
This is when a child is allowed to remain with a parent but it is considered that an order is necessary to safeguard the child. The threshold is and continues to be met in this situation; although on balance it is not considered necessary to remove the child, they are at on-going risk of harm.
These children will be treated as Children at Risk and a Child Protection plan is required. There needs to be consultation with a Child Protection Manager and an initial conference booked within 15 working days of the making of the Order or Interim Order. The Safeguarding Plan should be in line with the Care Plan agreed in Court, which should be made available to the CP Manager; visits should be in line with the CP plan but no less than every 4 weeks. There should be a clear contingency plan which includes that the case can be immediately referred back to Court in the event of any increased risk of harm.
The first review conference will be within 3 months of the initial conference and subsequent reviews will be at no more than 6-monthly intervals, but should include a review one to two months before the expiry of the order. This will confirm the Local Authority plan as to whether or not there should be an application to Court to extend the Order (up to a maximum of 3 years) and decide whether the child protection plan should cease on the expiry of the order. All other activity will be in accordance with Child Protection procedures, including the requirement for core group meetings.
Normally the Safeguarding Plan should continue at least until the order expires. However, exceptionally, where a core group and Child Protection Manager are unanimous that there is no further risk of significant harm, a decision may be made at a review conference to cease a child protection plan. In this situation, the team manager should seek legal advice prior to the review conference.