Children Act 1989 guides

This series of guides is designed to help independent advocates understand the key duties towards and entitlements of children and young people set out in the Children Act 1989. 

GUIDE 1: Introduction to the key principles and provisions

Guide 1 introduces the key principles of the Children Act 1989 and provides a useful, high-level overview  of the key provisions. It also includes an infographic mapping out some of the core regulations and statutory guidance associated with the Act.  



GUIDE 2: Supporting family and other important relationships

Guide 2 focuses on the rights of care experienced children and young people to see and spend time with their families and other people who are important to them, and the corresponding duties of local authorities. The guide summaries key provisions that support continued relationships between sisters and brothers, duties towards care leavers, statutory requirements for ‘stopping contact’ and more. It also contains a visual map to relevant legislation and supporting statutory guidance.

Click here to view the presentation from our June 2021 seminar for advocates focused on protecting children’s right to family relationships. We are very grateful to Clan Childlaw and Siblings Together for joining us at this important event.

GUIDE 3: Statutory representations (including complaints) procedure

Guide 3 focuses on the Children Act 1989 representations procedure as a route to resolving concerns, acknowledging children and young people’s views and experiences, redressing injustice, and putting things right. It contains an accessible summary of relevant legislation and statutory guidance, tips from advocates, and an overview of the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) and its powers to investigate and remedy injustice that results from local authority faults.

Click here to view the presentation from our September 2021 seminar on this topic.

GUIDE 4: Ensuring children’s wishes and feelings are taken seriously

This guide focuses on statutory duties to ascertain children’s wishes and feelings and give them due consideration when decisions are being made about children and their lives. The guide summarises the core duties set out in the Children Act 1989, as well as the range of additional duties that apply to specific groups of children in different situations. The guide contains a visual map of relevant legislation and statutory guidance, and many case studies that illustrate the vital importance of listening to children and young people and making sure their wishes and feelings are taken seriously.

Click here to access to view the presentation from our February 2022 seminar on this topic.

Children Act 1989 lecture

In June 2020, Nick O’Brien, Coram Chambers, delivered an online lecture on the Children Act 1989 to members of Article 39’s Children and Young People’s Advocates Network. You can watch the recording below (presentation starts 33 seconds into recording).