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Salford Children's Services Procedures Manual Salford City Council website

1.3.6 Children Subject of Supervision Orders


This chapter details the issues as a result of the making of a Supervision Order following care Proceedings. There is emphasis on ensuring there is the same rigour with regard to practice and planning as there is to Child Protection and other areas of work. There is Guidance also in dealing with escalation of concern as well as extending the Order should this be required.


Care and Supervision Proceedings and the Public Law Outline


This chapter was reviewed and updated in November 2018 and reflects changes of local terminology; Child in Need (Supervision Order) Plans are identified more simply as Supervision Order Review Plans.


  1. Legal Framework (Children Act 1989, Section 31)
  2. Applying for a Supervision Order
  3. Directions, Requirements and Conditions
  4. Notification
  5. Planning and Review
  6. Planning and Review for Subjects of Child Protection
  7. Seeing the Child
  8. Extending the Supervision Order
  9. Returning to Court
  10. Ending the Supervision Order

1. Legal Framework (Children Act 1989, Section 31)

When a child is the subject of a Supervision Order this means that the court has made a finding that the child has suffered Significant Harm or is likely to have suffered Significant Harm and this is attributable to the care they have received.

A Supervision Order is usually made for one year; this may be extended upon application for up to three years.

A child who is subject of a Supervision Order requires the same level of planning, monitoring and review as a child who is the subject of a Child Protection Plan or a Care Order.

A Supervision Order gives the local authority three specific duties:

  • To advise, assist and befriend the child;
  • To take all reasonable steps to see that the order is given effect;
  • To consider whether to apply for a variation or discharge of the order where it is not being wholly complied with or the authority considers that the order may no longer be necessary.

The Supervision Order is made in respect of the named child, not those who care for him or her.

The Local Authority does not have Parental Responsibility nor do they share this under a Supervision Order.

2. Applying for a Supervision Order

An application for a Supervision Order will usually be made for a child or as a result of an application for a Care Order, or as a result of Private Proceedings in the Civil Court. A Supervision Order may also be applied for when an application to discharge a Care Order is made.

3. Directions, Requirements and Conditions

The local authority must ensure that the court attaches adequate measures / conditions to the Supervision Order that will enable the local authority to adequately safeguard the child.

Consideration must be given to whether it is appropriate to:

  • Include any directions to the supervised child; or
  • Attach requirements to the interim / Final Supervision order in relation to an adult; or
  • Attach requirements regarding psychiatric or medical examination of the child.

Directions to the supervised child may entail:

  • Direction to live in a specified place and / or for a specified period;
  • Direction for the child to present him / herself to a named person and specific place and time (CAMHS, social work meetings, etc);
  • To participate in activities on particular days.

No Supervisor has the power alone to enforce directions. All these requirements may only be made by the court at the time the order is granted.

4. Notification

The named social worker must inform all relevant professionals that the child has been made subject of a Supervision Order or Interim Supervision Order within 5 working days of the Order being made.

The named social worker must ensure that all relevant professionals are aware of the requirements of the Supervision Order and that a finding of Significant Harm has been made in respect of the named child.

5. Planning and Review

The social worker must make a referral to the Child in Need Coordination Service within 5 working days of the Supervision Order being made and a core group of family members and professionals must be established to manage the process via regular Supervision Order Review Meetings (SORM). This group will be responsible for the planning, implementation and review of plans for this child. The SORM is constituted and operates in the same way as a Core Group.

The first SORM must be chaired by a Child in Need Coordinator and must be convened within 20 working days of making an Interim / Supervision Order

The first SORM must make a Supervision Order Review Plan that takes into account any final/interim court care plan and addresses any risks and relevant actions not explicitly set out in the Court Care Plan. Tasks will be allocated to members of the group as appropriate. Group members will be responsible and accountable for actions tasked to them. In the case of Interim Supervision Orders where there may not be a formal Court Care Plan an initial Supervision Order Review Plan must be drawn up addressing all risks and associated actions.

At each meeting the SORM must consider whether an updated Child and Family Assessment (CAF) is needed.

The Supervision Order Review Plan must be formally reviewed by the CIN Coordinator 3, 9 and 12 months after the Order was made.

Children who are the subject of Supervision Orders must be discussed at every formal supervision session.

6. Planning and Review for Subjects of Child Protection

In exceptional circumstances the child may be, or become subject to Child Protection Planning and a court ordered Supervision Order. In order to minimise duplication of planning / review within the family and professional network, the 6 weekly child protection Core Group meeting will also address the issues relating to the Supervision Order as well as the Child Protection Plan. There will be no need for a separate SORM to take place but the Supervision Order Review Plan must be updated to reflect planning decisions.

All professionals involved with the child are expected to attend the Core Group meetings. Details of activity, progress and completion of delegated actions must be reported on. Written update reports will be produced and circulated by all participants, particularly if individual members are unable to attend.

7. Seeing the Child

The core group (via the SORM) or the Child Protection Conference will decide on the frequency of visits if these are not specified in the Supervision Order.

The child must be seen, spoken to alone, and their views and wishes recorded by the allocated social worker at a minimum of 6 weekly intervals.

The child’s caregivers and home environment must be seen as part of the ongoing supervision.

The social worker must ensure that all relevant information is gathered from all professionals who come into contact with the child.

The social worker must ensure that all relevant information is shared with the child’s family and all professionals involved in supporting the Supervision Order.

8. Extending the Supervision Order

The SORM, Core Group or Child Protection Conference must review the progress of the Supervision Order at least 12 weeks before it expires. A decision not to apply to extend any order must be clearly minuted with evidence why this is no longer necessary. The SORM must be chaired by a CIN Coordinator and must include the views of the relevant social work manager.

If sufficient progress has not been achieved and it is unlikely that it will be achieved without an Order, following legal advice, an extension must be applied for if it is in the child’s best interests.

9. Returning to Court

If there are concerns that the child continues to be suffering or likely to suffer Significant Harm, or is believed to be at risk of new and Significant Harm at any point during the progress of the Supervision Order, consideration must be given to convening:

10. Ending the Supervision Order

If sufficient progress has been made the Supervision Order may be allowed to lapse. This decision must be minuted and evidenced as part of the Core Group or Supervision Order Review Meeting.

If the child remains subject to a child protection plan the requirements around this process will remain in place.