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.


9.0 Ideally when the decision of a Children's Hearing is to include an MRC in an order, the process of implementation will be swift and managed in a professional fashion and a number of steps might be taken to ensure that the process runs smoothly.

9.1 With respect to the scheduling of Children's Hearings at which the possibility of an MRC is likely to be considered, these should take place in the morning where possible owing to the administrative tasks which stem from the decision of Panel Members to impose an MRC.

9.2 When a hearing is considering an MRC, automatic legal aid and therefore a duty solicitor is not available for a young person unless the hearing is also considering whether it might be necessary to include a secure accommodation authorisation in an order. However young people are entitled to be represented by a solicitor at every type of Children's Hearing, and legal aid is very likely to be available for this when an MRC is being considered. Where an MRC is likely to be recommended, the Lead Professional should encourage the young person and his parent(s)/carer(s) to seek legal advice in advance of the Children's Hearing. In addition, if the Lead Professional considers that it might be necessary for the Children's Hearing to include a secure accommodation authorisation in the order (and the young person has not consulted a solicitor), the Children's Reporter should be alerted. The Lead Professional should request that the Children's Reporter contact the Scottish Legal Aid Board ( SLAB) to ask them to arrange for a duty solicitor for the young person. Nevertheless it is difficult to conceive of a situation in which an MRC might be considered by a Children's Hearing without discussion also of the potential for recourse to secure accommodation thereby rendering the presence of a solicitor essential.

9.3 The Monitoring Service Provider is unable to install relevant monitoring equipment in the identified address(es) until appropriate authorisation has been received. The Lead Professional should liaise closely with the Children's Reporter immediately following the Children's Hearing to ensure that the order with MRC condition paperwork is signed and shared promptly, ideally prior to the Lead Professional leaving the Children's Hearings centre. The Children's Reporter will send the Monitoring Service Provider a copy of the decision, order and reasons by secure email on the day of the Children's Hearing, or, if that is not practicable, on the first working day following the hearing.

9.4 The Lead Professional will ideally have had a preparatory discussion with the Monitoring Service Provider prior to the Children's Hearing in relation to the case of a young person who may be made subject to an MRC, with a provisional plan for implementation agreed. This discussion, subject to data protection restrictions, will have included the Lead Professional sharing any essential information such as any identified risks to professionals required to attend the young person's address ( e.g. volatile family members or aggressive dogs.) However the Lead Professional should be aware at all times that the role of the Monitoring Service Provider's staff is appropriately limited to the technical features of EM [17] .

9.5 Every effort should be made by the Lead Professional to support the work of other agencies to facilitate the implementation of an MRC on the same day the disposal is made. However, if it is not possible for monitoring equipment to be installed and tested by the Monitoring Service Provider at the relevant address before 7pm, the Lead Professional ought to advocate for a delay in installation and testing until the next working day. In situations where young children may be resident at the address, the level of disruption to family life stemming from evening and late night visits by Monitoring Service Provider staff would be particularly inappropriate.

9.6 Every effort should be made by the Lead Professional to be present at the time when monitoring equipment is being installed at the relevant address given that it is likely to be a time of strain for the young person and his parent(s)/carer(s).


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