Child protection provisions – Children (Scotland) Act 1995

These procedures should be read in conjunction with

Although voluntary measures to protect children should be used where possible, within the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 there are three orders aimed at protecting children from harm. The orders are:

The Act places the child’s welfare as paramount but requires the condition of significant harm to be satisfied. The term significant harm is not defined in the act. Therefore staff considering an application for an order will need to make a judgement, based on the information available regarding the child(ren) concerned, about whether the criteria for granting the particular order have been satisfied. Norrie, The Children (Scotland) Act 1995, defines significant harm as ” serious, not minor or transient, and may be physical or emotional.”

The decision about which order is most appropriate should always be governed by what is in the best interests of the child. The court will also require to be satisfied when considering an application that making an order for the child is better than making no order at all.

The sections which follow outline the procedure with respect to each of the three orders and cover the following areas:

      • what each of the orders can do
      • what conditions have to be satisfied in order to obtain each order
      • the steps to be taken before applying for any order
      • the information required for an application
      • the procedure for making an application
      • the action to be taken following a sheriff’s decision.