Section 91 – Grounds accepted: powers of grounds hearing
136.This section provides for the Children’s Hearing to proceed to a consideration of the case where the child and each relevant person in relation to the child have understood and accepted each ground specified in the statement of the grounds for referral or at least one of those grounds. The hearing must then consider whether or not to make a substantive decision based on the accepted ground(s).
137.The consideration of a case is only complete when the hearing is in a position to make a decision as to what course of action is in the best interests of the child. Deferral of a decision under subsection (2) may be considered appropriate, for example, because a particular report has not been completed in time, or the accuracy of a report is being challenged or because the child requires further assessment in order to fully determine the child’s needs. A hearing may decide to defer a decision to a subsequent hearing if the hearing needs more information in order to fully determine the best outcome for the child. If the hearing does not defer making a decision, the hearing must either make a compulsory supervision order for the child if satisfied that it is necessary for the protection, guidance, treatment or control of the child or discharge the referral.