Care Orders Solicitors in Gloucester
Care Orders are specific court orders which grant social services shared parental responsibility for a child. Under the Children Act 1989, Local Authority can apply for a Care Order if they believe that a child is suffering or at risk of suffering significant harm.
In certain circumstances, it may be possible to contest the making of a Care Order or to challenge its terms. This is where our specialist team can lend their expertise.
Our child care team solicitors in Gloucester have substantial experience and expertise when it comes to dealing with social services and care proceedings and will be on hand to ensure that you are fully supported during any potential legal proceedings and that your parental rights are respected at all times.
We will be available to assist you at every stage of proceedings, focusing on non-confrontational dispute resolution wherever possible to ensure a positive resolution. However, if court proceedings are required we can support you through the process.
If you have already been sent court papers, it is essential that you contact us immediately. There will be a court timetable in place, and an initial court hearing will have been set. If you are the parent of a child at the centre of social services proceedings, you will be entitled to free legal advice. Our team will be happy to have an initial discussion over the phone with you so we can advise you on the best way to proceed to protect your family.
How we can help you with Care Orders
Our care proceedings solicitors have a depth of expertise with regards to care orders and interim care orders.
Care Orders advice
Care Orders place children under the protection of a Local Authority’s Social Services Department. If granted, this means that the Local Authority in question will have parental responsibility to make certain decisions about a child’s upbringing, such as where they will go to school, who they will live with and who will look after them. This is shared with those with existing parental responsibility, usually the child’s parents.
The Local Authority must make a court application for a Care Order and can only do so if they believe:
- The child is suffering harm or is at risk of suffering harm; and
- The harm is attributable to the care that the child is receiving, or;
- The parents cannot protect the child from harm as they are beyond parental control
Our Care Order solicitors can provide advice and support throughout these proceedings. This will include liaising with the Local Authority on your behalf, liaising with Cafcass Children’s Guardian, representing you during Care Order hearings and challenging Care Orders where appropriate.
Interim Care Orders advice
An Interim Care Order works in much the same way as a full Care Order, in that they grant a Local Authority shared Parental Responsibility for your child. Interim Care Orders are usually granted at the beginning of Care Proceedings but can be applied for at any time in the court proceedings. An interim care order lasts for the duration of the proceedings. The making of an interim care order does not give an advantage to the Local Authority in respect of the outcome of the proceedings.
When Social Services apply for an Interim Care Order, they also need to have prepared an Interim Care Plan which sets out where the child will live in the short term until final decisions are made where the child will live in the future.
Our team can advise and support you if a Local Authority has submitted an Interim Care Order, ensuring you are aware of your rights and what your next steps should be.
Why choose Tayntons Solicitors for Care Order advice?
Our family law solicitors have substantial expertise and experience with Care Orders and other Care Proceedings matters, having supported families in Gloucester and throughout Gloucestershire, including Cheltenham and the Forest of Dean, as well as further afield.
We offer a carefully tailored and practical approach when dealing with Care Orders, focusing on clear communication and always striving to resolve any issues as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Tayntons child care solicitors are accredited by the Law Society for Children Law, recognising our particular expertise in this area.
As a firm, we have been awarded the Law Society’s Lexcel accreditation reflecting the excellence of our practice management and client care.
Commonly asked questions about Care Orders
What are the effects of a Care Order?
Under the terms of a Care Order, a Local Authority will have responsibility for various aspects of a child’s upbringing. This will include:
- Receiving the child into its care for the duration of the Care Order
- Providing accommodation and maintenance
- Safeguarding and promoting their welfare
Who will children live with under the terms of a Care Order?
If a Care Order has been made, the Local Authority will ultimately decide where the child will live. It may be the case that the child will continue to live with their parents, but they can also be placed with other relatives, or with foster parents.
If a care order or interim care order is in place, in emergency situations, the Local Authority can remove a child from where they are living if additional serious concerns arise.
Can a Care Order be challenged?
If parents, guardians or carers have Parental Responsibility for a child, they will have the ability to challenge a Care Order.
If a Care Order is already in place, it may also be possible to make an application to have it discharged. This can only be done six months after the Care Order has been granted, and there must be good reasons for doing so. There would have to be a change in the circumstances from when the care order was made.
A child may also be able to apply to court to discharge a Care Order.
Get in touch with our Care Order solicitors in Gloucester
Looking for legal advice and support with Care Orders in Gloucester, Cheltenham, the Forest of Dean or anywhere in Gloucestershire?