Social services are asking the court for an Interim Care Order, what does this mean?

An interim care order is not a permanent order. It is usually made at the start of care proceedings whilst further investigations continue, and will last until the end of the case when long term decisions will be made or until another order is made.

An interim care order will be made if there are reasonable grounds to believe that your child/children are at risk of significant harm, have suffered significant harm or are beyond parental control. If this is the case, then the Judge will have to consider whether it is in the best interests of your child/children to make such an order and in deciding this, the Judge will look at the welfare checklist and will consider your human rights and those of your child/children. Your child/children’s welfare is the court’s priority. If an order is made by the Court, it means that the Local Authority will share parental responsibility with you, as a corporate parent. however, whilst the order is in force,  Whilst they must consult you about any important decisions in relation to the child/children , if there is a disagreement, they can make important decisions about your child/children and do not need your permission to do so (subject to certain limitations). 

The Local Authority have a duty to safeguard your child/children and if the order is granted, they can decide where your child/children should live during the case. Under an Interim Care Order, the children can live with you however if the social services feel that your child/children should not live with you, then with the court’s permission they can place the child in foster care until the end of the case when a final decision is made as to what should happen to your child/children. In some cases, the Local Authority may agree for your child/children to be placed with a friend or family member who has been approved to care for your child/children. 

The court should only make an Interim Care order if the above criteria are met and the court may only sanction removal the child/children from your care if their safety demands it and that decision cannot wait until the end of the case. 

How we can help?

At Smith Partnership, we can help you throughout the Local Authority’s involvement. We have Solicitors across the East Midlands who are experienced in child protection matters, If you would like to discuss this further please contact us on 0330 123 1229.

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