Law and welfare order criteria

The admission process to the Atkinson secure children’s home involves either a Directors 72 hour order or a court order establishing that the following criteria have been met.

Criteria under Welfare Grounds (Section 25 Children Act 1989)

The Local Authority must be able to demonstrate that:

  • s/he has a history of absconding and is likely to abscond from any other description of accommodation and
  • if s/he absconds s/he is likely to suffer significant harm or
  • if s/he is kept in any other description of accommodation s/he is likely to injure her/himself or other persons.

The courts decide to place children and young people in a secure home. The laws they work with are the Children Act 1989, section 25 or section 70 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995. Children and young people may also be, or have been, the subject of:

  • a care order
  • an interim care order
  • an emergency protection order
  • a child assessment order

Magistrates must consider the views of the local authority in welfare cases, which are normally presented by the decision of a secure criteria panel, which has met before any such court hearing. The views of the young person are presented by themselves and also by solicitors and appointed guardians.