Child Care Proceedings Explained…

Family Court proceedings can be daunting and extremely stressful. Clear advice advice from industry experts can help alleviate this and guide you through the Court process.

The cost of getting advice is often the reason why people attempt to represent themselves in these hearings. However, we at Farani Taylor Solicitors hold a Legal Aid franchise in Family Matters. This means that should you qualify, we offer pubically funded advice at no cost to yourself. Getting advice is always worth exploring.

When are Child Care Proceedings required?

When a local authority has concerns about the welfare and risks posed to a child they issue court proceedings. In the majority of cases, social services are involved. However for some, they call for a Child Protection Case Conference. This assesses whether or not a Care Order is required.

Should the Local Authority believe that care proceedings are required then the court can take up to 26 weeks to decide. There are more complex cases that can take longer.

What happens if it goes to court?

Initially, social workers need to prove that the child is at risk of harm. If so, then they apply for an Interim Care Order, Interim Residence Order or Interim Supervision Order. This provides the Local Authority with temporary care rights over the child.

The threshold for these orders are relatively low and the Local Authority only needs to prove reasonable grounds for a Court to rule in there favour.

Following this, there are a number of hearings that are scheduled. The Case Management Hearing sets out the plans including where the child should and visitation. The Issues Resolution Hearing is held 26 weeks later and assesses whether the plans agreed in the case management hearing are suitable and are being met. If the plan is not agreed by all parties then a Final Hearing is set.

What are the potential outcomes?

There are several final orders that the court can make:

Care Order – the child remains in social care until they are 18 years old.

Supervision Order – the child lives with parent but with regular supervision from Children’s Services.

Placement Order – Children’s Services are permitted to put child up for adoption, without requiring your agreement.

Special Guardianship Order – the child lives with another person, such as a close family member, who is given parental responsibility for the child.

So how can we help?

Our Family Department are experts and have helped parents navigate the law surrounding these care orders. Our role is help you understand the legal position and your rights

We are members of Resolutions and the Law Society Family Panel.

If you have been issued court proceedings then contact us immediately to discuss your representation. We can guide you through the process, liaise with social services, arrange representation and advise on any correspondence.

We support our clients achieve the best outcomes for both them and their children.

Why not get in touch?

    Alternatively call us on 0207 242 1666 or email us here and ask to speak to our Family Department.