When a child is considered to be at risk of “significant harm” by the local authority, Social Services can apply to the court for a Care Order so that the child will be taken into local authority care.
This can be extremely distressing for both the child and their parents.
The family courts act in the best interest of the child – and it may be that parents are not able to care for their children for a period of time, or children may be at risk because of domestic abuse within a household.
A Care Order enables the local authority to share Parental Responsibility with the parents, guardians or carers of a child consider to be at significant risk.
When the local authority applies to the court for a Care Order, the court will also require Social Services to submit a Care Plan for a child within a set time.
Duncan Lewis can advise parents and those with Parental Responsibility on Care Orders and how to prevent Social Services from taking children into care – as well as advising on applying to discharge a Care Order.
Parents, guardian and carers can challenge a Care Order if they have Parental Responsibility for a child.
Parents applying to discharge a Care Order can only do so six months after the Care Order has been granted – and must be able to prove there are good reasons for applying to discharge the Care Order.
A child may also apply to the court to discharge a Care Order.
Applying to discharge a Care Order will require legal advice from a specialist Social Services solicitor to help prepare and present the case to the court.
The courts will always act in the best interests of the child and not the wishes of the parents – and Duncan Lewis Social Services solicitors can advise parents and those with Parental Responsibility on whether they can apply to discharge a Care Order to get their children back home with them.
Duncan Lewis is ranked by the Legal 500 2014 for its Family & Matrimonial work – and the Duncan Lewis team includes Advanced Members of the Law Society’s Family Panel, and members of the Law Society Children Panel – so our team is well placed to help you with any matters involving Social Services and Care Orders.
Duncan Lewis can also advise on other types of court order relating to child protection, including:
Duncan Lewis is one of the UK’s largest providers of Legal Aid family law services – including child care law – and in some cases may be able to offer Legal Aid funding for child care cases, including help with the costs of applying for court orders or challenging court orders if a client is on benefits or has a low income.
In cases where a client is not eligible for public funding (Legal Aid), Duncan Lewis Social Services solicitors offer a fixed fee for an initial client interview and assessment of a case involving a Care Order.
After a case has been assessed, it is usually possible for a fixed fee arrangement to be put in place – and Duncan Lewis will always advise clients of the costs in advance.
Duncan Lewis children lawyers always advise clients who are seeking help with child care matters – including Care Orders – to get in touch as soon as possible before the situation escalates.
Once you have contacted Duncan Lewis, we can act swiftly in any child care matter and put in place measures to help resolve the issues and prevent children being taken into care.
For expert legal advice on all child care matters – including Care Orders – contact Duncan Lewis Social Services Solicitors on 020 7923 4020.