The main types of orders which the court may make if there are concerns about a child’s welfare are as follows:
Emergency Protection Order
If the Local Authority is concerned that a child may be at immediate risk of harm they can apply to the court for an Emergency Protection Order (EPO). To obtain such an Order, the Local Authority has to show that there is reasonable cause to believe that the child is likely to suffer significant harm if he/she is not removed to accommodation provided by and on behalf of the Local Authority, or does not remain where he/she is. It may also apply for an EPO on the grounds that enquiries that the Local Authority is trying to make are being frustrated e.g. access to the child is being unreasonably refused. An Emergency Protection Order is a temporary order which lasts for 8 days but it can be extended on one occasion for a further 7 days.
This order means that a Local Authority must advise, assist and befriend a child. A Supervision Order does not grant the Local Authority parental responsibility. The Local Authority, under a Supervision Order, must offer support and advice to families on how they can address the concerns social services may have about a child.
The effect of a Care Order is that the Local Authority shares parental responsibility for a child(ren), and they can then make decisions about the care of the children, whether they are in foster care or in a children’s home. The Local Authority should still continue to consult parents regarding the children’s education, religious upbringing and medical treatment.
We can assist parents or family members who oppose the orders applied for by the Local Authority. Our experienced childcare lawyers are able to offer swift and effective advice to parents involved in these types of proceedings. We endeavour to provide a friendly and approachable service whilst offering a practical approach to ensure the best outcome for our clients. We understand that this is a difficult and traumatic time for parents and family members and that it is important to feel supported by your solicitor. These proceedings can be confusing and overwhelming. Here at Creighton & Partners, we aim to provide clear and concise advice eliminating the legal jargon.
As a party in care proceedings, you will be automatically entitled to public funding for legal advice and representation in these proceedings.