Children Act, 2001

Action plan.

39.—(1) The parents or guardian of a child, when present at a conference in respect of the child (or in their absence a member of the child's family or a relative of the child), and the child may, with the assistance of the other persons present at the conference, formulate an action plan for the child.

(2) Any such action plan shall be agreed unanimously by those present at the conference, unless the disagreement of any person present is regarded by the facilitator as unreasonable, in which case that person's agreement to the plan shall not be necessary.

(3) An action plan may include provision for any one or more of the following matters:

(a) an apology, whether orally or in writing or both, by the child to any victim,

(b) financial or other reparation to any victim,

(c) participation by the child in an appropriate sporting or recreational activity,

(d) attendance of the child at a school or place of work,

(e) participation by the child in an appropriate training or educational course or a programme that does not interfere with any work or school schedule of the child,

(f) the child being at home at specified times,

(g) the child staying away from specified places or a specified person or both,

(h) taking initiatives within the child's family and community that might help to prevent the commission by the child of further offences, and

(i) any other matter that in the opinion of those present at the conference would be in the child's best interests or would make the child more aware of the consequences of his or her criminal behaviour.

(4) When the action plan and its duration have been agreed, the facilitator shall produce a written record of the plan in language that can be understood by the child.

(5) The action plan shall be signed by the child (where possible), the chairperson and one of the other persons present.

(6) The action plan shall come into operation on the date it is signed.

(7) A copy of the action plan shall be given or sent to the child by the chairperson.

(8) Those present at the conference may appoint one or more of their number to implement the action plan and monitor compliance with it.

(9) The chairperson shall, after consulting the other persons present, appoint a date, being a date after the period covered by the action plan has expired, for reconvening the conference to review compliance with the action plan.

(10) The reconvened conference shall be held not more than 6 months from the date on which the action plan was signed and may be held outside the period of the child's supervision by a juvenile liaison officer.

(11) The chairperson may reconvene the conference at an earlier date than that appointed under subsection (9) if it comes to his or her notice that the child is not complying with any of the terms of the action plan.

(12) The persons present at any conference reconvened pursuant to subsection (11) shall ascertain why the child is not complying with the action plan and shall encourage the child to comply with the plan or any amended version of it that they may agree upon.

(13) The provisions of subsections (4) to (7) shall apply to any action plan amended in accordance with subsection (12).

(14) Subject to subsection (10), a conference may be reconvened on any number of occasions to discuss any aspect of an action plan.

(15) Nothing in this section shall prevent any person or persons who implemented, and monitored compliance with, the action plan from continuing, with the agreement of the child, to implement and monitor compliance with the plan after the period covered by it has expired and it has been reviewed at a reconvened conference.