Orders: Residence / Child Arrangements / Special Guardianship

Children who are returning to the care of their parents, where any of the above orders have been made to another person due to safeguarding concerns.



Any parent seeking to resume the care of children should be advised to make application to the Court and/or to hold discussions with children’s social care.

Any practitioner who is aware of the likelihood or actuality of a child returning to live with a parent in these circumstances is to refer to children’s social care without delay.

Where the following applies, irrespective of whether children’s social care have received a referral or they are anyway involved with the family, further assessment must be undertaken:

  • A child is, or was previously, at any stage, the subject of a Child Protection Plan; and

  • The Child Protection Plan was discontinued because the Conference believed the child would be cared for permanently by another person, through a Residence Order, Child Arrangements Order or Special Guardianship Order; and

  • The parent(s) wishes for, or is found to have resumed, the care of the child.

    A single assessment must be undertaken to determine whether there are child protection concerns, with a specific involvement of the Police, Health, Education, Probation and any other relevant professionals (where applicable).

    A decision should be made at this point as to whether a Strategy Meeting (not a discussion) is required, at which an agreement is to be reached as to whether a S47 enquiry is required to determine if the case needs to proceed to child protection conference.

Unless there are exceptional circumstances whereby all involved agreed there is no need to proceed further, which should be clearly recorded and explained, it is expected that the outcome of any assessment in these circumstances would be to at least provide support services.


If any agency does not agree with a decision not to hold a Strategy Meeting then they should refer to the Professional Challenge procedure on the Tees LSCBs Website.