Children Act 2004

Children Act 2004
Long titleAn Act to make provision for the establishment of a Children's Commissioner; to make provision about services provided to and for children and young people by local authorities and other persons; to make provision in relation to Wales about advisory and support services relating to family proceedings; to make provision about private fostering, child minding and day care, adoption review panels, the defence of reasonable punishment, the making of grants as respects children and families, child safety orders, the Children's Commissioner for Wales, the publication of material relating to children involved in certain legal proceedings and the disclosure by the Inland Revenue of information relating to children.
Citation2004 c. 31
Royal assent15 November 2004
Status: Current legislation
Text of statute as originally enacted
Revised text of statute as amended

The Children Act 2004 (c. 31) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.

The Act amended the Children Act 1989, largely in consequence of the Victoria Climbié inquiry.

The Act is now the basis for most official administration that is considered helpful to children, notably bringing all local government functions of children's welfare and education under the statutory authority of local Directors of Children's Services. The Act also created the ContactPoint database; this, however, has since been axed.


The Act was created with a certain set of goals. Its primary purpose was to give boundaries and help for local authorities and/or other entities to better regulate official intervention in the interests of children.


The long history of children's welfare legislation had given rise to numerous unco-ordinated official powers and functions, even within the same local authorities, resulting in the tragic maladministration seen in the Climbié case. Along with the Children Act 1989 and the Children Act 2004, there were reports in 2002, 2003, and 2004–05. Each Act has progressively attempted to improve the legal powers and official functions related to children in all forms, and to make official provision for children. In family courts this version of the act is very rarely referred to with the Children's Act 1989 more favourably used.


This Act's ultimate purpose is to make the UK better and safer for children of all ages. The idea behind the Act is to promote (co-ordination) between multiple official entities to improve the overall well-being of children. The 2004 Act also specifically provided for including and affecting disabled children.

Local Children's Safeguarding Boards

Section 13 provides for the creation and multi-agency representation of a Local Children's Safeguarding Board in each council area.


This Act made repeals and amendments to numerous statutes:

Section 67 - Commencement

The following orders have been made under this section:

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