If Children’s’ Services decide, for whatever reason, that your child is in any way at risk at home, they may apply to the court for a legal order to protect the child in question.
In order to do this, Children’s’ Services must prepare evidence as to why they are worried about your child’s welfare and safety.
At no time should you be left uninformed of what’s going on and why. You should receive copies of the papers that will go before the court, and of course you have a right to attend the hearing when the matter comes to court.
If you are faced with a situation in which Children’s Services have informed you that they are taking action to start care proceedings, you should immediately consult a legal professional, preferably one with experience in dealing with family matters.
At Khan McKenzie Solicitors, we have a broad range of experience in matters such as this, and our offices in Wolverhampton and Birmingham both have staff who will be able to help you, and to act as your advocates should it become necessary.
Should Children’s Services have reason to believe that your child is unsafe at home, they may seek an Interim Care Order even before the final hearing. If this happens, a court hearing will decide whether to grant the Interim Care Order, where your child should live until the final hearing, who will have access to your child during the period before the final hearing and what needs to be done in respect of documents, reports, statements, etc. for the final hearing.
Generally, your child’s social worker will have a temporary care plan prepared to present to the court, and the court will decide if this plan should be implemented, or whether other possibilities should be explored.
There may be an opportunity for a Family Group Conference to try to find a way to keep the child safe, but still within the family.
Throughout the process of establishing whether a care order should be made; where and by whom your child should be cared for; what level of access you and members of your family should be granted there are time limits and rules that have to be met. Your solicitor will be able to help and advise you as to your best course of action.
Additionally, your solicitor will be able to confer with the legal representatives from Children’s Services to find the best solution.
There are a number of possible outcomes to the final court hearing, should it prove impossible to resolve the matter in any other way. Some of these are:
- Care Order – which would mean your child staying in care until they reach the age of 18, or until the order is rescinded.
- Supervision Order – which means that the child will stay with you, but that Children’s Services will supervise the care you are providing
- Residence Order – which would see your child will live with another person such as a family member or a friend, for the duration of the order.
- Placement Order – which would allow Children’s Services to put your child up for adoption, even if you do not agree.
If you are in any doubt about your best course of action in the event that you are informed by Children’s Services that they are seeking a Care Order, please do not hesitate to contact us here at Khan McKenzie Solicitors.
Keeping in view the financial difficulties of clients, we have tailored very reasonable and affordable costs structure for our Family Law matter clients. If you would like to discuss any matter related to Family Law, please contact us through phone +44(121)794 2000 or alternatively make an online enquiry and we will respond at the earliest opportunity. We are very flexible in arranging appointments and offer highly friendly and personalised service with very competitive costs.