When the local authority are carrying out care proceedings against you, as part of the process, they will apply to have issued legally binding orders which effect who has the power to make decisions regarding the care and upbringing of your child. These various orders are referred to as Child Care Orders and are Orders of the Court under section 31 of the Children’s Act 1989.
There are a number of different types of Care Order. They vary in what they effect and how long they last. Some are temporary. Others last throughout the remainder of childhood, only expiring at the point of marriage or of the child reaching adulthood.
As they can have a very significant effect upon you and your family it is important to understand what they are, how they affect you and how long they last.
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He doesn’t fail you at all.”Our client, Mrs W.
It is necessary to understand that these orders are legally binding. The local authority must apply to the Court to have them issued. Care Orders are applied for on the grounds that your child has suffered serious harm or that there is a significant risk of them suffering serious harm in the future.
When Can a Child Care Order be Issued?
The decision over whether or not to issue a Care Order lies with the judge. He must make this decision based upon whether or not he believes the “threshold criteria” have been met.
The “threshold criteria” are that:
- Your child has undergone serious harm or there is risk of them undergoing serious harm in the future; and
- The harm was caused by the care you have given your child falling below what would be reasonably expected of a parent to give, or because you have not exercised enough control over your child.
Note that the “harm” does not only refer to physical abuse of the child themselves. It can also include the child observing the abuse of another or the emotional abuse of the child.
Based upon his findings with regard to the threshold having been met, the judge will then make the decision with regard to the type of Care Order called for by the circumstances, having weighed all the evidence presented to him. The type of Order issued will be based upon what is in your child’s best interests, in accordance with the “welfare principle” and following the “welfare checklist.”
Should the local authority begin care proceedings against you, the first thing you must do is to get immediate legal advice. You must contact a solicitor who is a member of the Law Society Children’s Panel, and who is a specialist in child law.
Contact Us Now
Brendan Fleming Solicitors are nationally recognized as a leading choice in the area of care work. We are justifiably proud of our expertise and our success rate. We are contracted to the Legal Services Commission for this type of work and are considered to be one of the leading national firms for publicly funded services.
Our principal, Brendan Fleming, has won a reputation for his innovative approach, spearheading many new ways of securing justice for families caught in the care proceedings trap. He is a member of a select children’s panel and recognised and approved by the Law Society.
If the local authority are trying to get a care order issued on your child, and to see how we can help you, contact Brendan Fleming Solicitors.