Revised 22 April 2014
When the local authority first begin care proceedings against you, the first type of Care Order they will seek is an Interim Care Order.
An interim care order is a temporary order. It is issued where the court believes there would be a greater chance of harm befalling the child should such an order not be issued and the the child left be left with their parents. The purpose of the Interim Care Order is to give time for the case to be considered fully and for full evidence to be compiled before any full (permanent) care order is issued.
An Interim Care Order means that parental responsibility for your child is shared between you and the local authority. In reality, however, it often plays out that they do what they think is best for the child regardless of your wishes.
The effect of an Interim Care Order is to allow the local authority to place your child temporarily into care. This usually mean foster care. The order gives them the power to decide where your child will live and with whom, even if you don’t agree with their decision.
How Does an Interim Care Order get Issued?
In order to apply for an Interim Care Order, the local authority must submit an interim care plan to the court. This plan sets out what they intend for your child. The plan must include the plan’s aim, a timescale for the plan, the needs of the child, arrangements for contact, where the child will be placed as well as what support will be provided by the local authority.
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This plan must be presented to the court, with copies given to the parents, the child (if they are of an appropriate age), any others who have parental responsibility for the child, and anybody else considered relevant to the case.
As covered above, the local authority do not need to obtain the parents’ agreement for the plan; but they do need to ensure that the plan follows government guidance.
Originally, an initial Interim Care Order, when care proceedings are first opened, lasted for 8 weeks; thereafter they could be renewed by the court every 4 weeks. With the advent of the Children and Families Act 2014, these time limits have been scrapped: the court is now allowed to make interim orders for as long as they see fit, though they cannot extend beyond the completion of relevant care or supervision orders.
As a parent, however, you retain the right to a new hearing for renewal if circumstances have changed or if you have new evidence for the court.
Should the local authority try to obtain an Interim Care Order for your child, 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 recognized 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.