Legislation and guidance

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Legislation

These pages outline the legislation, policy and guidance that specifically relates to children in care in the UK. National policies which aim to improve the life chances for all children, including looked after children, are covered in the England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland sections.

 

England

KEY LEGISLATION

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.

The Children Act 1989 – General Principles
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Children (Leaving Care) 2000

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Adoption and Children Act 2002

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Children and Adoption Act 2006

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Children and Young Persons Act 2008

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Children and Families Act 2014

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Revised Statutory Guidance

Special guardianship guidance

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The Children Act 1989 guidance and regulations

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CARE STANDARDS ACT 2000

Fostering Services Regulations and National Minimum Standards 2011


The above named regulations and standards are published under the Care Standards Act 2000.
The regulations are mandatory and fostering service providers must abide by them. The inspectors working for Ofsted take account of how well the fostering service providers meet the national minimum standards under the five Every Child Matters Outcomes, and how well the service is managed. The inspection reports for each fostering service provider are available either from the providers themselves or via the Ofsted website.

Download the National Minimum Standards here

There are 31 fostering standards which are encompassed under two main headings:

Standards 1 to 12 – Child Focused Standards
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Standards 13 to 31 – Standards of the Fostering Service
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Wales

KEY LEGISLATION

Children Act 1989

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Children (Leaving Care) 2000

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Adoption and Children Act 2002

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Children and Adoption Act 2006

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Children and Young Persons Act 2008

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Children and Families Act 2014

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Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014

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Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016

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GUIDANCE

When I am ready

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Social Services and Well-being (Wales) 2014

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Social Services and Well-being (Wales) 2014

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Guidance on the implementation of the Children (Leaving Care) Act 2000

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National Minimum Standards for Fostering Services (Wales) 2003 

Delegated Authority to Foster Carers 2011

 

 

Scotland

KEY LEGISLATION

Foster Children (Scotland) Act 1984

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Children (Scotland) Act 1995

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Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001

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Support and Assistance of Young People Leaving Care (Scotland) Regulations 2003

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Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007

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Looked After Children (Scotland) Regulations 2009

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Children’s Hearings (Scotland) Act 2011

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Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014

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GUIDANCE

Staying put Scotland

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Guidance on the Looked After Children (Scotland) Regulations 2009 and the Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007 (Scottish Government, 2011)

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Getting it Right for Every Child

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Managing Allegations against Foster Carers

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Northern Ireland

KEY LEGISLATION

Adoption (Northern Ireland) Order 1987

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Adoption Agencies Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1989

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Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995

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Children (Leaving Care) Act (Northern Ireland) 2002

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Children (Leaving Care) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2005

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GUIDANCE

Protecting looked after children

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Minimum kinship care standards Northern Ireland

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Standards – Leaving care services in Northern Ireland

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Standards for young adults supported accommodation projects in Northern Ireland

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The Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995

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