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This is advice from the Department for Education. The advice is non-statutory, and is designed to help local authorities when dealing with cross-border child protection cases under the 1996 Hague Convention1.
The 1996 Hague Convention ('the Convention') will be implemented in the UK on 1 November 2012. It provides an agreed set of legal provisions and cooperation arrangements to cover the handling of cross-border cases where children’s safety or welfare may be an issue. This advice sets out the key steps that local authorities can take to:
(a) ask for help or essential information from authorities abroad when dealing, for example, with a child from this country who is in need of support or protection; and
(b) respond to similar requests put to them by authorities abroad.
This advice will be reviewed by 1 April 2014.
This advice is primarily for local authority staff working with children and families, frontline social workers, their team managers, service managers, and children’s services lawyers.
It may also be useful for other agencies involved in decisions about children’s welfare, including staff from Cafcass and voluntary sector organisations.
The Convention applies to situations where contracting states need to cooperate over child protection and welfare cases when there is an international dimension. This can include care proceedings, contact cases and foster placements abroad.
11996 Hague Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in respect of Parental Responsibility and measures for the Protection of Children.
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Convention of 19 October 1996 on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children.