Bedfordshire Youth Offending Service
Telephone: 01234 276400
Fax: 01234 276434
What is a Parenting Order?
A Parenting Order is an order under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998. The Parenting Order was designed primarily to help and support parents when their children get into trouble.
A court may make an Order on a parent or guardian of:
- a juvenile who is convicted of an offence
- a child of whom is made subject of an Anti-social Behaviour Order or a Sex Offender Order, and a child under 10 whom is made subject to a Child Safety Order.
The court will also be able to impose this order when someone has been convicted of failing to ensure their child attends school regularly.
Any parent or carer that a young person lives with, this may include a stepparent, can be given an Order. A parent, who is not living with the young person, but has regular contact, may be issued with an order separately.
If you are given a Parenting Order, you may be required to attend counselling or guidance sessions were you will receive help on how to deal with the young person, e.g, parenting skills, managing the young person's behaviour, how to respond more effectively to challenging adolescent demands, ensuring your child is home during set hours, and ensuring they attend school regularly.
The Order can be from three to twelve months. The Court may impose a second element, which would require you to exercise control over your child's behaviour. This may last twelve months.
How does the court decide to issue a Parenting Order?
The Court will ask for the family to have an assessment. This requires the Court to collect information on your family circumstances and what affect a Parenting Order may have.
An Assessment will involve you talking to a Youth Offending Team Officer who will talk to you regarding problems and issues that may have contributed to the court appearance. They will consider whether they feel a Parenting Order would be suitable, or whether voluntary help would be acceptable. S/He will recommend the support that would be most helpful for you and your family.
What if I cannot attend or I am ill?
You must telephone the named responsible officer and explain the reason you are unable to attend. You may be asked to produce a sick note if you are ill.
What if I don't go to court?
A Parenting Order can be made in the absence of the parent and Guardian in Court. A parent should attend court to support their child. It may give you the opportunity to express your views if asked by the Court. Your Solicitor will give you advice about being placed on a Parenting Order and your rights to appeal against it.
What if I do not keep to the conditions of the Order?
If you have no genuine reason you will be in breach of the Order. You will be given a written warning. If you still fail to attend a Review meeting will be held. Further failure to comply will result in you being taken back to court.
If convicted you could be liable for a fine up to £1,000.