Care & Supervision Orders - to protect or take a child into care

If your children are going to be taken away from you and put into care by Social Services you may be able to prevent this. You can apply to the court to object to the Social Services getting a "Care Order" and ask the court to let the children live with you or a relative instead.

Sometimes the children may not be taken into care, but you may have to be supervised by Social Services for a while to make sure the children are well cared for, this is called a "Supervision Order".

Or, you may have a social worker occasionally keep in touch with you, this is called a "Family Assistance Order". The court can only make a Family Assistance Order if you consent and it will not last for longer than 6 months.

Sometimes Social Services can get an Emergency Order to remove the children from your care with the help of the police, if they are worried about the safety of the children. However, afterwards they must go back to court to get a Care Order.

You should get a solicitor to help you if you want to prevent a Care Order being made and you want to get your children back.

The Social Services must show that the children are likely to suffer "significant harm" if left in your care because the level of care you are giving is not very good or the child is beyond your control.

Since the 1st October 1997 the courts have been given new powers to remove an "abuser" of a child from the family home rather than allowing the Social Services to take a child away from the home.

If your children are already in care you may be able to get them out of care. You can apply to "Discharge" the Care Order, but you must have very good reasons.

Remember the court wants to do what is best for the children and not just what is best for you. You will need to see a solicitor to tell them what has changed since the children went into care. They will be able to advise you whether or not you should apply to discharge a Care Order.

If you do not have Parental Responsibility for the children you cannot apply to discharge the Care Order.

There are solicitors specially trained to do care work and they will be members of the Law Society's Children Panel. The Law Society can tell you which solicitors in your area are members of the Children Panel.

Additional Orders - made by a court for a child