Child Protection Guidance 2021

Part 3: Identifying and responding to concerns about children 103 National Guidance for Child Protection in Scotland 2021 Version 1.0 September 2021 Emergency legal measures to protect children at risk of significant harm Summary of legal options. 3.92 Urgent action may be required before or after a CPPM to protect a child from actual or likely significant harm, or until compulsory measures of supervision can be put in place by the children’s hearing system. There are a variety of options to fit circumstances. All references to ‘the 2011 Act’ are to the Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011. Where legal measures are being considered, early consultation with local authority legal services may be appropriate. 3.93 Voluntary accommodation. When a child’s parents or carers do not object, the local authority may accommodate the child to keep the child safe whilst concerns about the child’s safety, or reports or suspicions of abuse or neglect, can be assessed. Parents must have an explanation of voluntary accommodation that they understand. They should know that they can seek legal advice. Others in the child’s extended family or social network may offer to look after the child in the interim. This is provided for under s25 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995. A local authority may provide accommodation for any child within their area if they consider that to do so would safeguard or promote the child’s welfare. A local authority must provide accommodation for any child who, residing or having been found within their area, appears to them to require such provision because no-one has parental responsibility for the child, or the child is lost or abandoned, or the person who has been caring for the child is prevented, whether or not permanently and for whatever reason, from providing him with suitable accommodation or care. 3.94 Before providing this accommodation, the local authority must have regard so far as practicable to a child’s views (if the child wishes to express them), taking account of the child’s age and maturity. The local authority must not provide such accommodation for a child if a person who has parental responsibilities and the parental right to regulate the child’s residence or the right to control, direct or guide the child’s upbringing, and who is willing to provide or arrange accommodation for the child, objects. Despite this objection, the local authority may continue to provide accommodation for a child over 16 who agrees to be accommodated or where a person or persons who have been granted a residence order all agree to the accommodation. A person with parental responsibilities and rights (as referred to above) may remove the child from such accommodation at any time, but where the child has been accommodated for a continuous period of 6 months, 14 days written notice will be required before the child can be removed. 3.95 A child may request refuge and if the child appears at risk of harm, may be provided with short term refuge (up to 7 days in defined circumstances, exceptionally up to 14 days) by the local authority or a person who is approved by the local authority for this purpose (s38 Children (Scotland) Act 1995).