Family Law > Care Proceedings

Proceedings & Orders affecting children

When it comes to a child’s welfare, only the very best care will do. Our specialist Family team are here to support and guide you in matters concerning children.
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Care Orders


When a care order is granted, this means that the Local Authority is given parental responsibility for a child. Parents will therefore share their parental responsibility with the local authority. 

Parents should be notified of any decisions made by the local authority about the child. However, should the local authority believe it is in the childs best interests, they can limit the parental responsibility that the parents have.  

A Care Order can last until the child is 18 unless it is revoked at an earlier time.

Emergency Protection Orders


These types of orders are issued to protect a child from ongoing or imminent danger. They are used in exceptionally serious situations. An Emergency Protection Order can last up to 8 days.

An Emergency Protection Order Gives limited parental responsibility to whoever applies for the order. The limitations are dependent on the childs welfare. It can also give whoever applies, the right to remove the child from where they are.

Those who can apply include anyone who believes that a child is in danger. Most applications are made by the Local Authority, but the Police or NSPCC can also apply.

When you apply for an Emergency Protection Order you must give the parents of the child one days’ notice of the application. Dependant on the situation, you may not have to give notice. If no notice is given, the application and the order must be served on the parents within 48 hours.

An Emergency Protection order will be granted if the Court is satisfied that the child is likely to or is currently suffering from significant harm. It could also be granted if the applicant believes that the child is likely to suffer but they do not have access to the child to be able to help them.

It is a criminal offence to obstruct someone from removing or preventing the removal of a child if there is an Emergency Protection Order in place.

Placement Orders


This is a Court Order authorising the Local Authority to place a child up for adoption. These orders last until the child is 18 or until the order is revoked. If the court believes it is in the best interests of the child, they can place the child for adoption without the parents’ consent. The adoptive parents are decided on by the Local Authority.

Secure Accommodation Orders


The Court can grant a Secure Accommodation Order in cases where a child may be in danger where they reside or have run away in the past. Therefore, the purpose of the order is to place the child somewhere where they are less likely to run away or placed in a safer environment. 

A Secure Accommodation Order can also be granted in matters where the child may harm themselves or others. The court will specify how long the child will be kept in secure accommodation.

Matters relating to the above can be complex. Our Family team have dedicated specialists who are able to advise you on the different types of orders which may affect you and your children.

To learn more any of these orders or to find out how our team can assist you, please get in touch.



Taylor Rose MW Solicitor Services in Commercial, Employment, Property and Family Law.


Care Proceedings


The local council can begin care proceedings if they are worried about a childs wellbeing.

It can take around 26 weeks for a Court to decide what happens to the child. This timescale is however dependant on the complexity of the matter.

The care proceedings process involves looking to understand why the child is at risk. It also seeks to recognise what measures can be put in place to protect the child.  

Social workers and Officer from the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) compose reports for the Court to consider. Once this is done, there is a Court hearing whereby the judge will determine if they believe the child is safe.

Public Law Proceedings


This is where the Local Authority applies to the Court for an order to safeguard the welfare of a child. These are referred to as Public Law cases.

Public Law Proceedings usually set out the duties that the Local Authority has when applying for a care or supervision order.

Before proceedings, the parents are provided with a letter which details the main concerns and any assistance supplied from the children’s Services. The letter before proceedings also schedules a time for a meeting. The scheduled meeting will go through all of the concerns listed within the letter and give the parents the opportunity to respond to the concerns.

It is common for a written agreement to be made at these meetings, which if breached can lead to the local authority escalating matters.

Should you have been in receipt of a letter before proceedings, we would advise that you seek legal advice as soon as possible.


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