Lack of parental control: Child Safety Order

The Child Safety Order (CSO) is a compulsory intervention available below the threshold of the child being at risk of significant harm.

Overview

When a child is brought to the attention of the police or the wider community because of their behaviour, this may be an indication of vulnerability, poor supervision or neglect in its wider sense. It is important to consider whether these are children in need and to offer them assistance and services that reflect their needs. This should be done on a multi-agency basis.

A range of powers should be used to engage families to improve the child’s behaviour where engagement cannot be secured on a voluntary basis.

The Child Safety Order (CSO) is a compulsory intervention available below the threshold of the child being at risk of significant harm. Children’s social care can apply for a CSO where a child has committed an act that would have been an offence if s/he were aged 10 or above, where it is necessary to prevent such an act, or where the child has caused harassment, distress or harm to others (i.e. behaved anti-socially). It is designed to help the child improve his or her behaviour, and is likely to be used alongside work with the family and others to address any underlying problems.

A Parenting Order can be made alongside a CSO or when a CSO is breached. This provides an effective means of engaging with and supporting parents, while helping them develop their ability to undertake their parental responsibilities.