Significant Harm Definition
Under sections 31(9) and (10) of the Children Act 1989 as amended by the Adoption and Children Act 2002:
Where the question of whether harm suffered by a child is significant turns on the child’s health and development, his health or development shall be compared with that which could reasonably be expected of a similar child.
- 'harm' means ill-treatment or the impairment of health or development (including, for example, impairment suffered from seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another),
- 'development' meant physical, intellectual, emotional, social or behavioural development;
- 'health' means physical or mental health; and
- 'ill-treatment' includes sexual abuse and forms of ill-treatment which are not physical.
For more details see Adcock, M. and White, R. (1998). Significant Harm: its management and outcome.