What is the Children Act 1989?
The Children Act is an important law for children and young people. It is about how children should be brought up and cared for.
What does the act say?
It says that:
- A court or a local authority, which you may know as the council, should always put the child first when making decisions.
- Children should stay with their own family whenever possible.
- Children should not be taken away from their family unless the child is at risk of being hurt.
- A local authority must work with parents and children.
- When children are being looked after by local authorities, they and their parents have rights.
Why is the act important?
It says how you can be protected and gives you certain rights.
- You should be protected
- You must be listened to
- If a local authority is deciding what should happen to you they have to find out what you feel and want. They must tell you what is happening and why. They must decide quickly what to do for you
- You must be told your rights
- If you are in care, you must be told certain information
- You can talk about any worries you have or make a complaint if things go wrong
The Act says the local authority must help you if you will suffer without help or if you have a disability and need help.
The act says that if you are in danger or at risk of being hurt in some way then you must be protected. It says that the local authority must listen if they are told you are in danger. They must look into what is happening and if needed, go to court and ask the court to decide what is best for you. The court can make orders saying what is to happen to you including whether you would be safer if you were in care. The court will only make an order if it thinks this will make things better for you.