Care (and related) proceedings definition
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The legal process where children’s services apply to the family court to become involved in a child’s care. They may do this if they are concerned that a child has suffered or is at risk of suffering significant harm.
Children’s services can ask the court to make an order to protect the child. This includes an emergency protection order or a care order. If children’s services consider that the child may need protection whilst the proceedings are ongoing, it may ask the court to make an interim care order. These orders give children’s services parental responsibility for a child. The parents do not lose their parental responsibility when the order is made. Children’s services must seek the parents’ views when making decisions relating to the child. However, children’s services will have the final say in decision-making.
Children’s services may also ask the court to make a supervision order (including an interim supervision order). This order does not give parental responsibility to children’s services, and the child is not placed into care. A supervision order places a duty on children’s services to ‘advise, assist and befriend’ the family. This means that children’s services will ‘supervise’ and support the parent in caring for the child.