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Children Act 1989


This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

  1. Introductory Text

  2. Part I Introductory

    1. 1.Welfare of the child

    2. 2.Parental responsibility for children

    3. 3.Meaning of “parental responsibility”

    4. 4.Acquisition of parental responsibility by father

    5. 5.Appointment of guardians

    6. 6.Guardians: revocation and disclaimer

    7. 7.Welfare reports

  3. Part II Orders With Respect To Children In Family Proceedings

    1. General

      1. 8.Residence, contact and other orders with respect to children

      2. 9.Restrictions on making section 8 orders

      3. 10.Power of court to make section 8 orders

      4. 11.General principles and supplementary provisions

      5. 12.Residence orders and parental responsibility

      6. 13.Change of child’s name or removal from jurisdiction

      7. 14.Enforcement of residence orders

    2. Financial relief

      1. 15.Orders for financial relief with respect to children

    3. Family assistance orders

      1. 16.Family assistance orders

  4. Part III Local Authority Support for Children and Families

    1. Provision of services for children and their families

      1. 17.Provision of services for children in need, their families and others

      2. 18.Day care for pre-school and other children

      3. 19.Review of provision for day care, child minding etc

    2. Provision of accommodation for children

      1. 20.Provision of accommodation for children: general

      2. 21.Provision of accommodation for children in police protection or detention or on remand, etc

    3. Duties of local authorities in relation to children looked after by them

      1. 22.General duty of local authority in relation to children looked after by them

      2. 23.Provision of accommodation and maintenance by local authority for children whom they are looking after

    4. Advice and assistance for certain children

      1. 24.Advice and assistance for certain children

    5. Secure accommodation

      1. 25.Use of accommodation for restricting liberty

    6. Supplemental

      1. 26.Review of cases and enquiries into representations

      2. 27.Co-operation between authorities

      3. 28.Consultation with local education authorities

      4. 29.Recoupment of cost of providing services etc

      5. 30.Miscellaneous


    1. General

      1. 31.Care and supervision orders

      2. 32.Period within which application for order under this Part must be disposed of

    2. Care orders

      1. 33.Effect of care order

      2. 34.Parental contact etc. with children in care

    3. Supervision orders

      1. 35.Supervision orders

      2. 36.Education supervision orders

    4. Powers of court

      1. 37.Powers of court in certain family proceedings

      2. 38.Interim orders

      3. 39.Discharge and variation etc. of care orders and supervision orders

      4. 40.Orders pending appeals in cases about care or supervision orders

    5. Guardians ad litem

      1. 41.Representation of child and of his interests in certain proceedings

      2. 42.Right of guardian ad litem to have access to local authority records

  6. Part V Protection of Children

    1. 43.Child assessment orders

    2. 44.Orders for emergency protection of children

    3. 45.Duration of emergency protection orders and other supplemental provisions

    4. 46.Removal and accommodation of children by police in cases of emergency

    5. 47.Local authority’s duty to investigate

    6. 48.Powers to assist in discovery of children who may be in need of emergency protection

    7. 49.Abduction of children in care etc

    8. 50.Recovery of abducted children etc

    9. 51.Refuges for children at risk

    10. 52.Rules and regulations

  7. Part VI Community Homes

    1. 53.Provision of community homes by local authorities

    2. 54.Directions that premises be no longer used for community home

    3. 55.Determination of disputes relating to controlled and assisted community homes

    4. 56.Discontinuance by voluntary organisation of controlled or assisted community home

    5. 57.Closure by local authority of controlled or assisted community home

    6. 58.Financial provisions applicable on cessation of controlled or assisted community home or disposal etc. of premises

  8. Part VII Voluntary Homes and Voluntary Organisations

    1. 59.Provision of accommodation by voluntary organisations

    2. 60.Registration and regulation of voluntary homes

    3. 61.Duties of voluntary organisations

    4. 62.Duties of local authorities

  9. Part VIII Registered Children’s Homes

    1. 63.Children not to be cared for and accommodated in unregistered children’s homes

    2. 64.Welfare of children in children’s homes

    3. 65.Persons disqualified from carrying on, or being employed in, children’s homes


    1. 66.Privately fostered children

    2. 67.Welfare of privately fostered children

    3. 68.Persons disqualified from being private foster parents

    4. 69.Power to prohibit private fostering

    5. 70.Offences

  11. Part X Child Minding and Day Care for Young Children

    1. 71.Registration

    2. 72.Requirements to be complied with by child minders

    3. 73.Requirements to be complied with by persons providing day care for young children

    4. 74.Cancellation of registration

    5. 75.Protection of children in an emergency

    6. 76.Inspection

    7. 77.Appeals

    8. 78.Offences

    9. 79.Application of this Part to Scotland

  12. Part XI Secretary of State’s Supervisory Functions and Responsibilities

    1. 80.Inspection of children’s homes etc. by persons authorised by Secretary of State

    2. 81.Inquiries

    3. 82.Financial support by Secretary of State

    4. 83.Research and returns of information

    5. 84.Local authority failure to comply with statutory duty: default power of Secretary of State

  13. Part XII Miscellaneous and General

    1. Notification of children accommodated in certain establishments

      1. 85.Children accommodated by health authorities and local education authorities

      2. 86.Children accommodated in residential care, nursing or mental nursing homes

      3. 87.Welfare of children accommodated in independent schools

    2. Adoption

      1. 88.Amendments of adoption legislation

    3. Paternity tests

      1. 89.Tests to establish paternity

    4. Criminal care and supervision orders

      1. 90.Care and supervision orders in criminal proceedings

    5. Effect and duration of orders etc.

      1. 91.Effect and duration of orders etc

    6. Jurisdiction and procedure etc.

      1. 92.Jurisdiction of courts

      2. 93.Rules of court

      3. 94.Appeals

      4. 95.Attendance of child at hearing under Part IV or V

      5. 96.Evidence given by, or with respect to, children

      6. 97.Privacy for children involved in certain proceedings

      7. 98.Self-incrimination

      8. 99.Legal aid

      9. 100.Restrictions on use of wardship jurisdiction

      10. 101.Effect of orders as between England and Wales and Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man

    7. Search warrants

      1. 102.Power of constable to assist in exercise of certain powers to search for children or inspect premises

    8. General

      1. 103.Offences by bodies corporate

      2. 104.Regulations and orders

      3. 105.Interpretation

      4. 106.Financial provisions

      5. 107.Application to Channel Islands

      6. 108.Short title, commencement extent etc

    1. Schedule 1

      Financial Provision for Children.

    2. Schedule 2

      Local Authority Support for Children and Families.

      1. Part I Provision of Services for Families.

      2. Part II Children Looked After by Local Authorities.

      3. Part III Contributions Towards Maintenance of Children.

    3. Schedule 3

      Supervision Orders.

      1. Part I General.

      2. Part II Miscellaneous.

      3. Part III Education Supervision Orders.

    4. Schedule 4

      Management and Conduct of Community Homes.

      1. Part I Instruments of Management.

      2. Part II Management of Controlled and Assisted Community Homes.

      3. Part III Regulations.

    5. Schedule 5

      Voluntary Homes.

      1. Part I Registration of Voluntary Homes.

      2. Part II Regulations as to Voluntary Homes.

    6. Schedule 6

      Registered Children’s Homes.

      1. Part I Registration.

      2. Part II Regulations.

    7. Schedule 7

      Foster Parents: Limits on Number of Foster Children.

    8. Schedule 8

      Privately Fostered Children.

    9. Schedule 9

      Child Minding and Day Care for Young Children.

    10. Schedule 10

      Amendments of Adoption Legislation.

      1. Part I Amendments of Adoption Act 1976.

      2. Part II Amendments of Adoption (Scotland) Act 1978.

    11. Schedule 11


      1. Part I General.

      2. Part II Consequential Amendments.

    12. Schedule 12

      Minor Amendments.

    13. Schedule 13

      Consequential Amendments.

    14. Schedule 14

      Transitionals and Savings.

    15. Schedule 15


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