What does ‘care proceedings’ mean?
One of the most terrifying things for a parent is the involvement of social services with their child, and allegations made as to the care of, neglect of or unexplained injuries to their children. What are your rights? What are the procedures? Can they remove your children from their home? In this blog, we take a look at what happens in care proceedings and how you can seek specialist advice and guidance.
Let’s start with what ‘care proceedings’ means. Care proceedings are issued by the local authority’s social services department where an application has been made for a ‘care order’, or a ‘supervision order’ in relation to a child. They occur when the Children’s Services department at the local authority asks the court to look at a child’s situation and decide if the child needs a legal order to keep them safe.
A care order places a child under the care of the local authority, also known as a child being in care. This order gives parental responsibility of the child to the local authority. It doesn’t mean that the parent(s) no longer have parental responsibility, but their wishes may be overridden if the local authority believes it is in the best interest of the child.
When a court grants a care order, they decide how much the child’s parent(s) and any brothers, sisters or other family members see the child.
What happens in care proceedings?
When care proceedings are in motion, but before the first court hearing a child’s social worker has to give papers to the court. These papers explain why they are worried about the child and these care proceedings have been triggered.
The parent(s) will be party to the proceedings; this also means that they receive copies of the papers and reports, as well as have the right to put across their point of view.
If children’s services think that a child needs to be removed from the parents care before the final court hearing then they will ask the court to make an interim care order.
When the court hearing is taking place, the court will look at the interim care plan that the child’s social worker has made. Also, the solicitors involved in the case will discuss the child’s situation and either agrees with the care plan presented by the social worker, or further discussion will be had on how it should be changed.
Why do social services take parents to court?
A local authority, specifically the department of social services, may decide to get involved with a family to keep a child safe and start a court case. This case is known as ‘care proceedings’. This typically only happens when social services have tried to make things safer for the child, but feel it has not worked.
Do you need care order support?
If you need quality advice with regards to care proceedings then our dedicated team here at Broadbents Solicitors are ready to help. Our specialist team are highly experienced in dealing with and offering advice and guidance on care proceedings. We‘re ready to provide any support you need and answer any questions you have.
We have offices throughout Derby and the surrounding areas; this enables us to offer appointments and legal advice. We’re available 24/7 to offer quality advice.
For more details and information on care proceedings, you can call us today: Alfreton 01773 832 511, Derby 01332 369 090, Heanor 01773 769 891, or Sutton-in-Ashfield 01623 441 123. Alternatively, you can complete the online contact form and we will be in touch shortly.