01603 214 220

Can the local authority remove a child from my care?

02/03/2022

Author: Jo Mayes

Child Law, Family

Father and Child

When Children’s Services at the local authority become involved with your family, it can be a stressful and frightening time for parents, grandparents and the wider family.

Can the local authority remove a child from my care? This is a question we are often asked by parents whose children become of interest to Children’s Services.

There are three ways that a child can be removed:

  1. If there is an incident that involves the Police, and the Police have sufficient concerns around the safety of the child, they have the power to take a child into Police Protection for 72 hours. The child will be placed into foster care or with a family member approved by Children’s Services.
  2. A social worker could ask a parent to sign a Section 20 agreement. This effectively means that the parent is voluntarily placing their child in the care of the local authority. The child could be placed in foster care or with a family member approved by Children’s Services.
  3. The local authority could issue Care Proceeding and, if the Court makes an interim Care Order, it is likely that there will also be a direction that the child should be removed from the parent(s) care pending further assessment/investigation. Again, the child could be placed in foster care or with a family member approved by Children’s Services.

Section 20 Agreement

Whilst Police Protection only lasts 72 hours, during that time the local authority will decide whether Care Proceedings need to be issued or if the parent(s) will agree to the child remaining in its care under a Section 20 agreement.

A Section 20 agreement can be revoked at any time, although we would usually advise a parent to give the local authority a week’s notice of the intention to remove the child from the local authority’s care. If notice is given, the local authority will then need to decide whether to issue proceedings or allow the child to return to their parent(s).

If you have been contacted by a social worker about your child and are not sure what to do next, please get in touch with and we can help you. Contact Jo Mayes via jomayes@hatchbrenner.co.uk or call 01603 660 811.

If you would like further information about any service, call us on 01603 214220