Movement restriction conditions in the children's hearing system: guidance

Information for social workers who have a statutory responsibility to present information to children’s panel members.


7.0 If a young person is made subject to an MRC, it is imperative that the Child's Plan which outlines all of the elements of monitoring and support in place is the subject of regular review. When the MRC is imposed Panel Members must clearly stipulate the day when or the timeframe within which it is to be reviewed [13] . One of the most practical ways in which this might be achieved is for the Lead Professional, at the point when an MRC is being imposed by a Children's Hearing, to request that an Early Review is scheduled, ideally within 6 weeks.

7.1 The advantage of an Early Review Children's Hearing within 6 weeks of the imposition of an MRC is that it provides a reasonable window to establish whether the disposal is proving broadly effective or not. In those instances where a young person has responded positively to the restrictions and supports in place, consideration might also be given to softening some of the provisions ( e.g. reducing the number of hours of restriction) as an acknowledgement of progress. Alternatively, if the disposal has not yet prompted the desired behaviour change and/or compliance has been poor, an Early Review enables Panel Members to address these concerns and to consider alternative courses of action if necessary.

7.2 The maximum period of time a young person may be subject to an MRC without review is 6 months [14] . However subject to adherence to the minimum required review frequency, consecutive MRCs may be imposed by a Children's Hearing. Furthermore it is conceivable that a young person may be made subject to an MRC on more than one occasion with a gap between monitoring episodes stemming from a change in circumstances ( e.g. MRC - secure accommodation - MRC). Given that any compulsory supervision order with secure authorisation is required to be reviewed by a Children's Hearing every three months, it seems appropriate that reviews of MRCs should take place with similar frequency if the option of an Early Review as outlined above is not pursued.

7.3 It may also be useful for the Lead Professional to distinguish between both formal and informal reviews of the MRC. The formal review of an MRC at a Children's Hearing should be accompanied by informal local review processes scheduled with sufficient regularity to be purposeful and manageable for all parties involved, including the young person and his parent(s)/carer(s). It will be the responsibility of the implementation authority to arrange local reviews as appropriate, ensuring the full participation of the young person and his parent(s)/carer(s). While this guidance does not prescribe specific review time intervals, weekly reviews (moving to fortnightly with sufficient evidence of progress) may be beneficial in the early stages of an MRC. Such reviews would usefully be informed by the scrutiny of weekly plans. More substantive reviews focussing in detail on the Child's Plan and necessary amendments and changes might occur on a 4 -6 weekly basis.

7.4 Lead Professionals should be cautious to avoid duplication as regards review processes and alert to opportunities for streamlining reviews. A young person subject to an MRC might already be subject to child protection, "looked after" and/or risk management reviews. As long as the Child's Plan is being scrutinised with regularity and rigour, various for a may be able to fulfil this reviewing function satisfactorily.


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