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1.4.5 Supervision Order Procedure


This chapter summarises the main differences between Supervision Orders and Care Orders, and outlines the process developing and reviewing a Supervision Order Plan.

This chapter was added to the procedures manual in January 2015.


  1. Introduction
  2. The Supervision Order Plan
  3. Child in Need Meetings and Reviews
  4. Children Out of County

1. Introduction

Under Section 31 (2) of the Children Act 1989 on the conclusion of care proceedings the Local Authority can be granted a Supervision Order, this has the same threshold criteria as a Care Order but although the two Orders have the same threshold they are completely different in application. A Care Order gives the local authority Parental Responsibility for a child, a Supervision Order does not, but it places a responsibility on the local authority to “advise, assist and befriend” the child and by extension, the people with whom the child lives.

A Supervision Order is designed to allow the local authority to keep a reasonable amount of control over the child where there has been harm or a risk of harm but not enough continuing harm to warrant a Care Order.

The court can impose certain conditions on a child subject to a Supervision Order as outlined in Schedule 3 (sections 35, 36) Children Act 1989.

2. The Supervision Order Plan

A plan as to how a Supervision Order is to be implemented will be submitted to the court during proceedings. Children and young people who are subject of a Supervision Order in Derbyshire will have a child’s plan in place to ensure that any agreed actions by the family and professionals are clear and outcome focused. The plan will mirror the detail as presented to the court within the Court Care Plan.

For each Supervision Order, consideration needs to be given as to whether the best type of plan for the child is a Child Protection Plan, or a Child in Need Plan. Most children subject to Supervision Orders will be Children in Need, but at any time it may be necessary to “step up” to child protection and this should always be considered an option if the level of concern or risk begins to escalate.

If the child is subject to a Child Protection Plan, then the usual Child Protection processes apply.

3. Child in Need Meetings and Reviews

For those subject to a Child in Need plan and a Supervision Order the following meeting schedule will apply:

The Child in Need plan is recorded on Frameworki and will be subject to regular ‘multi-agency network /Child in Need meetings, at a minimum of 6 weekly, for the duration of the Supervision Order (the Child's Plan on Frameworki should be categorised as a Supervision Order Plan via the drop down selection’). The Child in Need meeting will be chaired by the case holder. A Supervision Order Review meeting will be held at 3 and 9 months. These reviews will be of the Child in Need plan and will be chaired by a Service Manager who is not the direct line manager for the Social Worker to afford a degree of independent scrutiny of the plan.

A rigorous overview should be conducted at the review 3 months prior to the expiry date of the Supervision Order to determine if there is a need for the Supervision Order to be extended. Legal advice should be sort if it is felt a further period of supervision is required. 3 months allows sufficient time for a further application to be made to the Court.

All Child in Need meetings and Supervision Order reviews should have clear minutes available to ensure that actions are clearly understood by the child/young person their family and professionals and the child in need plan on Frameworki updated after each meeting has taken place.

It is expected that children subject to a Supervision Order are visited at a minimum of every 6 weeks and that the child/ren are spoken to alone. The visit will be recorded on FWI using the headings in the Stronger Families Safer Children Well-being grid.

4. Children Out of County

If a child who is subject to a Supervision Order moves out of county, the local authority area into which the child moves must be notified of the child’s move.

Where this is known in advance, the social worker will write to the relevant local authority advising of the move and include a copy of the Supervision Order and a copy of the single assessment and child’s plan. This should happen even if Derbyshire are remaining responsible for the Supervision Order and the Child in Need plan.

Where there is no or little advanced notice of the move, the social worker will phone the relevant local authority to alert them and follow up with sending copies of the documents listed above within 24 hours.