Legislation for looked after children 

Below is a collection of resources linking to specific legislation affecting looked after children which includes those being placed in foster care or those becoming adopted.

 

Children (Leaving Care) 2000

Sets out duties local authorities have to support young people leaving care from 16 to 21 years of age.

View the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000

Children Act 1989

Sets out many of the duties, powers and responsibilities local authorities hold in respect of their looked after children and care leavers.

In 2015 new regulations relating to the Children Act came in to force. Among other things, these regulations set out arrangements for local authorities considering ceasing to look after a child.

View the Children Act 1989

 

Adoption and Children Act 2002

Updated the legal framework for domestic and inter-country adoption, and places a duty on local authorities to maintain an adoption service and provide adoption support services.

View the Adoption and Children Act 2002

Children and Adoption Act 2006

Gives courts more flexible powers to facilitate child contact and enforce contact orders when separated parents are in dispute.

View the Children and Adoption Act 2006

 

Children and Young Persons Act 2008

Legislates for the recommendations in the Department for Education and Skill’s 2007 Care Matters white paper to provide high quality care and services for children in care.

View the Children and Young Persons Act 2008

Download the Care Matters white paper (PDF)

Children and Families Act 2014

Encourages 'fostering for adoption' which allows approved adopters to foster children while they wait for court approval to adopt. Introduces a 26 week time limit for the courts to decide whether or not a child should be taken into care. In some cases, this limit may be extended by eight weeks. Introduces 'staying put' arrangements which allow children in care to stay with their foster families until the age of 21 years. This is provided that both the young person and the foster family are happy to do so.

View the Children and Families Act 2014

 

The Children's Homes (England) Regulations 2015

Sets out duties for those providing residential children's homes for children.

View The Children's Homes (England) Regulations 2015