A Child Assessment Order is a court order granted by a Sheriff to allow access to your child in order to assess whether your child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm.
Whenever there are concerns about your child’s safety and wellbeing, we need to think about what action, if any, needs to be taken to help make sure your child is safe and provided with the help they need.
In some cases, there may be a need to have a fuller assessment of the situation and a Child Assessment Order can be used for this. It allows your child to be seen by the relevant people and, where necessary, allows for an assessment of your child’s health and development to be undertaken. An order can be applied for by the local council and lasts up to 3 days.
When granting the order, the Sheriff can attach conditions to ensure the safety and welfare of the child and to make sure the assessment is carried out. For example, the Sheriff may attach a condition that your child lives at a particular place while the assessment is being carried out.
Under the Age of Legal Capacity (Scotland) Act 1991, depending on their age and understanding, your child has the right to agree or refuse to have a medical examination, assessment or treatment and their consent will be required before any medical assessment will be carried out.
If a Child Assessment Order is issued, you will be required to comply with it.
If a Child Assessment Order is sought for your child, you should seek legal advice at the start of this process. Legal Aid may be available.
If at any time you feel that you need legal advice on what you or your child’s rights are you can contact: