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Threshold criteria

The threshold criteria are facts that must be proved during care proceedings before a court can consider making either a care order or a supervision order. In other words, children’s services must prove to the court that a ‘threshold’ has been met.

The threshold criteria are set out in Section 31(2) of the Children Act 1989.

Children’s services must be able to prove to the court that:

  • The child is suffering (or is likely to suffer) significant harm, AND
  • That harm is the result of the care being given to the child at home OR to the child being beyond the parents’ control.

(In this context, harm can mean the child witnessing domestic abuse in the home or witnessing another person being ill-treated.)

For more information see our advice pages on:

Care (and related) proceedings

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