Children’s guardians are appointed by the court to represent children within care proceedings (local authorities can start ‘ care proceedings ’ if they’re very worried about a child and can apply for a ‘ care order ’...
Where the local authority (children’s services) have issued care proceedings concerning your child, or another child of the family, you will likely hear the term ‘threshold’ or ‘threshold criteria’ being mentioned, particularly by the lawyers or other professionals.
Before the court can make an interim care order (or care order) or an interim supervision order (or supervision order), the local authority must be able to demonstrate to the court that the ‘threshold criteria’ has been met. This means that they must be able to prove to the court that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the child who the application relates to is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm and that the harm (or likelihood of harm) is caused by:
a. The care being given to the child, or the care likely to be given to the child, not being what would be reasonable to expect a parent to give to that child; or
b. The child being beyond parental control
Harm is defined in law as ill-treatment or the impairment of health (physical or mental) or development (physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural), including, impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another.