Having the Local Authority and Social Services involved with your family can be frustrating, confusing and frightening.
At Brown Turner Ross, we have specialist family lawyers who are passionate about protecting children and young people,
Based at our offices in Liverpool and Southport, they deal with all aspects of child care law and can arrange legal aid if you’re eligible.
When might a Local Authority apply to take a child into care?
The usual trigger for Care Proceedings is when the Local Authority believes a child is being neglected.
Neglect involves ongoing, serious failure to meet a child’s basic needs and can include situations such as not taking a child to see a doctor when they need to, not giving the child enough to eat or drink or keeping them clean, as well as if there are concerns that the child is being, or is at risk of being, emotionally, physically or sexually abused either by their parents, carers or other people they know.
It’s important to remember that a court will only make an Order relating to a child if it is better for the child than not making an Order at all.
The legislation supports the general principle that it is always better for families and children if the parents can come to an agreement instead of having to involve the Court to make a decision.
The welfare of the child is at the hear of the Children Act 1989, which is the Child Care Law relating to children being accommodated by the Local Authority.
What Child Protection Orders are there?
Emergency Protection Order
This is a short-term Order which is made if the Court thinks that a child or young person is likely to suffer harm or if the Local Authority is concerned that a child is suffering, or likely to suffer, harm – and that access to the child is being refused and is required urgently.
The Police also have powers under the Children Act to take a child into Police protection for up to 72 hours if they believe that a child would otherwise be likely to suffer significant harm.
This places a child or young person under the supervision of the Local Authority or a Probation Officer. This person is required to advise, help and befriend the child.
it may include certain conditions such as ensuring the child has a medical or psychiatric examination or treatment. It may also say that the child should take part in particular activities at specified times
Care Orders and Supervision Orders
The Court can only make a Care Order or a Supervision Order if it is satisfied that the child has suffered, or is likely to suffer, significant harm. They can also be issued if it’s thought the child won’t receive the basic care and protection reasonably expected of a parent or the child is beyond parental control.
An Interim Care or Supervision Order can initially be made for up to eight weeks and subsequently renewed for a four-week period so that more information can be obtained.
These are complex and emotionally charged issues so if you need advice on this or any other aspect of the Law relating to caring for children, get in touch with our dedicated team specialising in all areas of Children Law.
Legal Aid is usually granted to all parents and children involved in public law cases, regardless of financial means.
Our family law solicitors in Liverpool and Southport are here to help you through the most difficult of times, sympathetically and professionally, so contact us now if you’re experiencing issues relating to child protection.