3 Implementation Authority
An 'implementation authority' is an authority which has the responsibility to give effect to any order made by a children's hearing.
When a children's hearing makes a compulsory supervision order, an interim compulsory supervision order or a medical examination order, as part of their decision making process they must name the relevant local authority as the implementation authority. The implementation authority has the responsibility of giving effect to the order and the measures contained within it.
Although not directly the concern of panel members, there may be occasions when a disagreement arises between local authorities about who should or should not be the implementation authority. Being the implementation authority has financial implications and after a decision has been made by a children's hearing to impose a duty on the local authority, the local authority may make an application to the sheriff for the decision to be reviewed in terms of which authority should be the implementation authority. If this is the case, the sheriff must then make a decision about which local authority is the relevant authority. The sheriff has the power to vary the order relating to the implementation authority. The sheriff may also make an order in favour of the local authority to reimburse them for any sum that they may have incurred in relation to their duty. (s 166)
There is provision for a further appeal by the local authority to the Sheriff Principal by stated case. (s 167)
Duties of an implementation authority
- To safeguard and promote the child's welfare.
- Give effect to the compulsory supervision order.
- Comply with any requirements imposed in connection with any order in relation to the child.
- Secure or facilitate the provision of services for the child even if they do not normally provide them.
- To require a review of the compulsory supervision order where appropriate.
- To take steps wherever practicable and appropriate to promote, on a regular basis contact between the child and anyone with parental responsibilities. (s 17 of the 1995 Act.)
When reviewing a child's situation, if a hearing considers that an implementing local authority is in breach of their duty towards a child who is subject to compulsory supervision order, they may refer the matter to the National Convener see Section 13 of the Legislation and Procedure Handbook.