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Remedies under the Children (Scotland) Act 1995

The Children (Scotland) Act 1995 allows a local authority to take action to protect children's rights.

This content applies to Scotland

Exclusion orders under the Children (Scotland) Act 1995

Local authorities can apply for exclusion orders to protect children. The social work department will be the most likely department within a local authority to seek exclusion orders.

An adviser acting, for example, for a parent, could ask the social work department to consider going to court for an exclusion order, to keep the adviser informed of their decision and if they are not proceeding then to give reasons to the adviser and person concerned.

Exclusion orders granted under the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 [1] are similar in wording to those granted under the Matrimonial Homes Act.

Such exclusion orders are orders that exclude suspected perpetrators of child abuse from the family home, and only local authorities can apply for them.

In cases where the local authority suspects that a child is being abused, instead of removing the child from her/his home it can apply to the court for an exclusion order excluding from the family home any person named in that order (the 'named person').

The court can grant an exclusion order when it is satisfied that:

  • the child has suffered, is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm as a result of any conduct, threatened conduct or reasonably apprehended conduct by the named person

  • such an order is necessary for the protection of the child and the child's welfare would be better safeguarded if s/he remained in the family home.

The court will not grant an exclusion order if it appears that in doing so it would be unjustifiable or unreasonable.

The child does not have to be living in the family home at the time of going to court. [2]


Interdicts can be granted at the same time as an exclusion order on application by the local authority. These include interdicts which prohibit the named person from entering the family home without the local authority's express permission and interdicts prohibiting the named person from entering or remaining in a specified area in the vicinity of the family home. [3]

Powers of arrest

Powers of arrest can be attached to interdicts obtained under the Children (Scotland) Act 1995, either by the Sheriff on her/his own initiative or on application by the local authority. The power of arrest will not be effective until it is served on the named person and the authority must ensure that the interdict and power of arrest are delivered to the Chief Constable in the area in which the family home is situated. [4]

Last updated: 29 December 2014


  • [1]

    s.76 Children (Scotland) Act 1995

  • [2]

    s.76(2) Children (Scotland) Act 1995

  • [3]

    s.77(3) Children (Scotland) Act 1995

  • [4]

    s.78(1)-(4) Children (Scotland) Act 1995