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.
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.
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.
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.