Care proceedings

If social services receive information which makes them concerned about a child’s welfare, they have a duty to protect the child. The Local Authority can apply for a care order on the grounds that your child has suffered serious harm or is at risk of suffering serious harm in the future. They can claim that the care you are giving or have given your child is not what it would be reasonable to expect a parent to give or that your child is out of control.

What powers do Social Services have?


Take legal advice

It is very important to see a solicitor to deal with your case. You need to find one which is on the Children Panel as a high level of experience is necessary to deal with this case.

Care proceedings are started in the Family Proceedings Court and are expected to last a maximum of 40 weeks asking the court for a care order. If social services think your child is in immediate danger they can take a number of steps. They can ask the person they believe is a danger to your child to leave the home or keep away from the child. Or they can discuss with you having your child looked after by the local authority in a way you agree to. They can also ask the police to take your child into police protection for up to 72 hours or apply to the court for an emergency protection order.

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