Christmas for many is a joyous time enjoyed with family and friends, however, for some families’ difficulties arise and the Local Authority have a duty to intervene and make applications to the Court, these are known as Care Proceedings.

This intervention may follow Police intervention or referrals made by others.

What are Care Proceedings?

Care proceedings are court proceedings initiated by the Local Authority‘s Children’s Services department in which an application for a Care Order or Supervision Order in relation to a child is made. If Children’s Services believe a child is at risk of significant harm, they can apply to the Court for permission to take action to protect the child.

What is a care order?

When a child is placed under the care of the Local Authority, the Local Authority is given parental responsibility and shares it with current parental responsibility holders, such as the child’s parents. However, in order to protect a child’s welfare, the local authority may exercise parental responsibility beyond that of current parental responsibility holders.

What is a Supervision Order?

A Supervision Order imposes a duty on the Local Authority to ‘advise, assist and befriend’ the child. It may require a child to live in a specified place, do certain activities and report to a particular place at a set time. A Supervision Order can last for one year and may be extended yearly to a total of three years. It will last until the child reaches the age of 18, unless discharged at an earlier date.

What to do?

If you are a parent or carer of a child and receive notification of a Court hearing or any involvement at all with the Local Authority, the specialised Care Team here at Greens are here to assist you. Our doors do not close on 22nd December 2023 until 2nd January 2024, we have dedicated members of our Team available to you over the Christmas and New Year period, you can email or via our website with your contact details or call our number on 0121 233 2042 and your details will be forwarded to one of the Team.

If the Local Authority do issue Care Proceedings, this means that it will generally be seeking either a Care Order or Supervision Order. If such proceedings are issued, you are generally entitled to free legal advice and representation throughout your case irrespective of your financial circumstances.