Compulsory Supervision Orders

mum reading with children

If a Compulsory Supervision Order has been made by the Children’s Hearing, the Hearing will have discussed with you and your child, the reasons for making a Compulsory Supervision Order. However, you may still have some questions…


What happens now?

Your Local Authority has a duty to put the Compulsory Supervision Order into effect.

After the Order has been made, the Social Worker who has been allocated by the Local Authority to your child, will speak to you and your child, and discuss a plan for the future.

The Social Worker will also consult with others, such as your child’s school, and prepare a care plan to help improve your child’s situation.

The Hearing expects that the Local Authority will provide the supervision that a child/young person requires.

The plan helps to identify what needs to be done and what part everyone will play in the work with the child/young person and with yourself.


Is it compulsory?

By law, children and young people and the Local Authority have to comply with the terms of the Compulsory Supervision Order.


How long will it last?

A Compulsory Supervision Order lasts for as long as the Hearing feels it to be necessary. There is no specific period, but your child’s case must be considered again by a Hearing a minimum of once per year from the date of making of the Order. This kind of Hearing is often called a Review.

When a Compulsory Supervision Order is no longer necessary, it will be terminated at a Children’s Hearing. A Compulsory Supervision Order ends automatically when a young person reaches 18 years old, but there is always a Children’s Hearing before this to terminate the Order.


Can a Hearing take place before a year has passed?

Yes. You or your child can ask for another Hearing which can take place three months after the date of your child’s last hearing. Your child’s Social Worker or the Local Authority can ask for a review of the Compulsory Supervision Order at any time. In addition, the Hearing can specify a date for a future review of the Compulsory Supervision Order when considering your child’s case.

At any Children’s Hearing, the Panel Members will discuss with you and your child, the progress made during the period of the Compulsory Supervision Order. They will also consider any reports provided and discuss these with everybody present.


At a review, the Hearing may decide that:

1. The Compulsory Supervision Order should remain in place for a further period of time. The Hearing will then continue the Order.

2. Different measures of supervision may now be more helpful for your child. For example, if your child has been living away from home, it may now be decided that he/she should return home under the supervision of a Social Worker. The Hearing will then vary the Compulsory Supervision Order.

3. Your child no longer needs compulsory measures of supervision (or a Compulsory Supervision Order). The Hearing will then end the Compulsory Supervision Order. This is commonly referred to as termination of the Compulsory Supervision Order.


Can I appeal?

You, and your child, have the right to appeal to the Sheriff against the decision of the Children’s Hearing.

You or your child may wish to consult a lawyer about an appeal.

In appealing, you have to satisfy the Sheriff that the Children’s Hearing was not justified in making the Compulsory Supervision Order.

A Safeguarder who may be appointed to your child’s case also has the right to appeal against the decision, and does so only on behalf of the child.

Any appeal should be in writing to the Sheriff at the relevant Sheriff Court, and must be made within three weeks of the Hearing’s decision.

At the appeal, the Sheriff will hear what you have to say and he/she will also hear from the Reporter, and possibly your child. The Sheriff may speak to the people who prepared the reports about your child for the Hearing if he/she thinks that would be useful.


If the Sheriff allows your appeal, there are a number of options:

  • He/she can discharge your child’s case altogether.
  • Send it back to a Hearing for reconsideration.
  • Make a Compulsory Supervision Order which is different from the one which the Hearing had decided upon.
  • If your appeal fails, the Compulsory Supervision Order made by the Hearing will continue unchanged.