If Children’s Services at the local authority feel that your child is suffering significant harm, or is at risk of suffering significant harm, they can file an Application with the Court to start Care Proceedings. This may be because of concerns relating to neglect, emotional harm, physical abuse and sexual abuse.
If the local authority has already filed an application with the Court, or you are aware that they will be issuing Care Proceedings, our experienced solicitors are here to help and advise you.
The local authority could be applying for an Interim Care Order or an Interim Supervision Order to be made at the start of Care Proceedings. Their plan could be for your child/children to be removed from your care while further assessments of you are undertaken. These could include assessments by psychologists or psychiatrists or assessments of your parenting ability. Temporary care orders remain in place while assessments are undertaken.
If your child/children are removed from your care, they may be looked after by the local authority in a foster care placement, or they may be placed with a family member or friend for the duration of the Care Proceedings.
What is an Interim Care Order?
An Interim Care Order is a temporary Care Order. It gives the local authority a share of parental responsibility for the child/children.
Parents and others with parental responsibility for the child/children do not lose their parental responsibility, but the local authority has the power to limit anyone else exercising their parental responsibility. They can make decisions about the child/children while the Interim Care Order remains in force.
Under an Interim Supervision Order, the local authority has a duty to advise, assist and befriend the child/children named by the Supervision Order. It does not give the local authority full parental responsibility for the child/children. The local authority will work with those who have parental responsibility to ensure the safety of the child/children.
Before the Court can make a Care Order or Supervision Order, it has to be satisfied that the child/children were suffering significant harm or at risk of suffering significant harm. This is called the “threshold criteria”.
Court Proceedings for these Orders are kept to a strict timescale and have to be resolved within 26 weeks, or faster, if possible. That is why it is important that you seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity.
Our experienced Care Proceedings Solicitors are here to represent you and support you. Call us on 01603 660 811 for more information.