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The Public Law Outline in Wales

National review of care planning for children and young people subject to Public Law Outline pre-proceedings

This review focuses on the steps taken by local authorities before initiating court proceedings to ask for a care order to take a child into care, or for a supervision order to be made. These steps are known legally as Public Law Outline pre-proceedings.

The review found families subject to legal planning and pre-proceedings are given extensive support and opportunities to make effective changes before further legal action is taken. This means children and young people are supported to remain with their families where it is safe for them to do so.

The review also found improvements are needed regarding parent’s access to advocacy, and there is a lack of clear and concise information to explain the PLO process to families

Although the report outlines the benefits of children having regular one to one support from their social worker, the capacity for local authorities to provide this vital support is under increasing pressure.

Next steps

We will continue to follow progress being made by local authorities during its performance review activities in 2025 and beyond.

Read the full report and all the key findings below.