Care (and related) proceedings
2 minute read
If children’s services have good reason (‘reasonable grounds’) to believe a child has suffered, or is likely to suffer significant harm, they may start care proceedings. This is the process of applying to the Family Court for a care order or supervision order.
- Understanding care proceedings and the law
- Eight big questions about care proceedings
- Urgent protection of children (including police protection and emergency protection orders)
- The stages of care proceedings
- Interim arrangements and plans for children during care proceedings
- Contact arrangements for children during care proceedings
Understanding care proceedings and the law
Where is the law about care proceedings found?
The law and guidance about care proceedings is found in:
- In the Children Act 1989
- In the Public Law Outline (PLO). This gives guidance on how care proceedings should be conducted. It is part the Family Court Rules
- In government statutory guidance called Court orders and pre-proceedings for local authorities. Children’s services must follow this unless there is good reason not to
- In decisions made by senior judges in different cases – case law
- Government statutory guidance called Working Together 2018 is about agencies working together and with families to keep children safe and well. This applies before and during care proceedings.
These things combine to ensure:
- Children’s services support parents and families to resolve concerns
- Where this is not possible, children’s services explore who within the family and friends network may be able to care for their child
- If care proceedings begin, the Family Court has evidence of all of the possible long term care options for the child.
Eight big questions about care proceedings
These eight FAQs answer questions parents, carers and other family members often have when they first hear about, or become involved in, care proceedings.