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South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures
South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures South West Safeguarding and Child Protection Procedures

1.4.4 Supervision Order Process


This chapter was introduced in to the manual in October 2013 and details the processes required when the outcome of a Care Proceedings hearing leads to an Interim Supervision Order or Supervision Order by the court. It highlights that although a Section 47 Enquiry is not required, (on the basis that all parties will be aware of the risks) a Child Protection Case Conference or a Child in Need meeting should be convened.


Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline Procedure

Children in Need Threshold Criteria Guidance

Child in Need Plans and Reviews Procedure

Child Protection Conference (South West Child Protection Procedures)

Where the Local Authority is in legal proceedings and recommending a Supervision Order at Final Hearing, the Permanency Planning Process should be followed (see Permanence Planning Guidance and Process for Permanency Decision Procedure). It is recognised that the Court may be minded to make a Supervision Order against the recommendation of the Local Authority, or more rarely as a result of private law proceedings. This process is intended to cover any eventuality where a Supervision Order has been made or an Interim Supervision Order (ISO) is made as part of Care Proceedings.

The social worker should ensure that the child’s record is updated within 24 hours of the Supervision Order/ISO being made with the child’s new legal status. This recording should also include details of any terms of the Supervision Order/ISO, and any identified triggers that would necessitate a return to Court.

Following a Supervision Order being made, the social worker should contact the Safeguarding Service and convene an Initial Child Protection Conference (ICPC) within 15 working days, see Child Protection Conference (South West Child Protection Procedures). This should happen in every case where a child has been accommodated due to safeguarding concerns & is returning home under a Supervision Order/ISO. Where there is an ISO made and the child has remained at home throughout it is likely that they will already be subject to a Child Protection Plan, in which case a review conference should be called.

In some exceptional cases it may not be appropriate to convene an ICPC. The decision not to convene an ICPC should be taken between the Safeguarding Service Manager and the relevant Service Manager for the child, and should be recorded on the child’s records. Any disagreement at this stage should be subject to the Conflict Resolution process, (see Looked After Reviews Procedure, Conflict Resolution) and The Role of the IRO in Problem Resolution (see Appointment and Role of Independent Reviewing Officers Procedure).

As there will have been a full investigation into any risks to the child as part of the legal proceedings, there will be no need to complete a Section 47 Enquiry prior to ICPC as there should already be a full assessment of the child’s wellbeing.

Where the child was previously accommodated, the ICPC should be chaired by the Independent Chair who performed the Independent Reviewing Officer role for the child. This Independent Chair should continue to chair any subsequent Child in Need meetings whilst the child remains subject to a Supervision Order/ISO.

The function of the ICPC/child protection review is:

  1. To consider whether the threshold of Significant Harm has been met;

    and, if so;
  2. Whether there is the need for a child protection plan to safeguard the child.

In most cases where a Supervision Order/ISO has been made, whilst threshold for Significant Harm will have been met, there will be no need for a Child Protection Plan. If there is no need for a Child Protection Plan, a multi-agency Child in Need plan should be drawn up at the end of the ICPC/child protection review. (See Children in Need Threshold Criteria Guidance.)

The Child in Need Plan should specify tasks with SMART outcomes for the child. It should also specify visiting frequency and whether visits should be announced or unannounced. In most cases the expectation will be for fortnightly visits initially, but this may be stepped down at the first Child in Need Review Meeting.

The Child in Need Plan should be reviewed every three months for the duration of the Supervision Order/ISO (see Child in Need Plans and Reviews Procedure). The final Child in Need review will need to be convened a maximum of 28 days before the Supervision Order expires/Final Evidence and will consider whether a further Supervision Order should be applied for. The Child in Need Review Meeting will be convened by the Safeguarding Service and chaired by the allocated Independent Chair.

Decisions about whether the case should transfer to a different service should take place at the first Child in Need Review meeting. In order to facilitate this, the Team Manager for the child should alert the receiving team one month before the review, via the Transfer Meeting and they must ensure a formal handover takes place. This may include a period of joint working arrangements between the two teams (see Allocation of Work and Transfer between Teams Procedure).

Where criteria are met to apply to the Court for variance or extension of the Supervision Order/ISO, or where the Local Authority assessment is that the case has deteriorated significantly such that threshold for an Interim Care Order may (again) be met, a Legal Gateway Meeting (see Legal Planning and Proof of Evidence Meetings) should be convened.