Listed below are the key pieces of legislation and guidance that related to children and particularly children in the care of local authorities and those awaiting adoption. All those working with these children should be familiar with these as they form the framework for best practice


Adoption support fund (ASF) July 2018 (updated May 2019)

Local authorities (LAs) and regional adoption agencies (RAAs) can apply for therapeutic funding for eligible adoptive and special guardianship order families.

Working together to safeguard children July 2018 (updated February 2019)

Statutory guidance on inter-agency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.

Children and Social Work Act 2017

Care and adoption proceedings amendments (England and Wales)

The Adoption and Children Act Register (Search and Inspection) Regulations 2017
Regional adoption agencies programme June 2015

Information about the move to regional adoption agencies.

Children and Families Act 2014

Includes arrangements for adoption and contact

National minimum standards July 2014

Departmental advice containing the national minimum standards applicable to adoption agencies and adoption support agencies.

Statutory Guidance on Adoption July 2013

For local authorities, voluntary adoption agencies and adoption support agencies

Disclosure of Adoption Information (Post-Commencement Adoptions) Regulations 2005 
Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005 
Adoption and Children Act 2002
Children Act 1989


Local Authority Adoption Services (Wales) Regulations 2019
Codes of practice and statutory guidance (last updated June 2018)
Children and Social Work Act 2017

Care and adoption proceedings amendments (England and Wales)

Working together to safeguard people guidance (Welsh Government, 2017)
Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015
Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014
Rights of Children and Young Persons (Wales) Measure 2011

Enshrining the UN Convention on the rights of the child (UNCRC) into legislation

All Wales Child Protection Procedures 2008
Access to Information (Post-Commencement Adoptions) (Wales) Regulations 2005
Adoption Agencies (Wales) Regulations 2005
Adoption and Children Act 2002
Children Act 1989

Northern Ireland

Revised regional core child protection policies and procedures for Northern Ireland (2018)
Children and young people’s strategy 2017-2027

Working together to improve the well-being of children and young people living in Northern Ireland

Adoption and children Bill (Northern Ireland) (2017, draft)
Co-operating to Safeguard Children and young people in Northern Ireland (2017)
Children’s Services Co-operation Act (Northern Ireland) 2015
Safeguarding Board Act (Northern Ireland) 2011.
The Voluntary Adoption Agencies Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2010
The Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995.
Children Act 1989


Scotland's Adoption Register Regulations 2016
Scotland is Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) (2015)
National guidance for child protection in Scotland (2014)
Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014 
National guidance for child protection in Scotland (2014)
The Adoption Agencies (Scotland)Regulations 2009
Period to Prepare an Adoption Allowances Scheme (Scotland) Order 2009
Guidance on Looked After Children (Scotland) Regulations 2009
Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007
Children Act 1989