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The Local Authority has applied to the Court for a Care Order - but what is it?

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What is a Care Order in my Care Proceedings case?

A care order gives the local authority parental responsibility for the child. The court may make an interim care order so that arrangements can be made to look after the child until the court makes a final decision about care. Here at Johnson Astills we can represent you.

If a care order is made, the local authority will share parental responsibility with whoever already has parental responsibility. The local authority has to involve these people when they make a decision about the child, but the local authority has the final say. The local authority will decide where your child should live. This will normally be away from home.

How a care order is made:

  • The local authority can apply for a care order if they have concerns that a child is suffering significant harm, or is likely to suffer significant harm.
  • The court can only make an order if is satisfied that the child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm, and the cause of the harm is because: of the care that the child is getting, or the child is beyond parental control.
  • If this is shown, the court will go on to consider whether an order should be made, and if so, whether it should be a care order or a supervision order.
  • You, as a parent, have the right to go to the hearing and put your views to the court. You have the right for a legal representative to speak on your behalf and you would get legal aid for this.

How long does a care order last?

A care order can last until the child is 18 unless it is discharged earlier.

Appealing against care orders and exclusions

You or your child can appeal against a care order. The time limit to appeal is 21 days from when the order is made.

You, your child or the local authority can apply to end the order or change it to a supervision order at any time.

If you’ve been excluded from your home as part of a care order, you can apply to the court to change or stop the order.

Get legal advice about appeals from a specialist solicitor. Here at Johnson Astills we have a team of solicitors who specialise in these matters.

You may be eligible for legal aid. Contact us to find out more if you are eligible for Legal Aid at Johnson Astills or have a read through our article on Legal Aid Johnson Astills.

If you have Local Authority involvement with your children at Child Protection level ranging through to Care Proceedings in the Family Court then Johnson Astills can assist you. We have experience in assisting parents at all stages of Local Authority involvement. Please contact Johnson Astills at either our Leicester Office on 0116 255 4855 or our Loughborough Office on 01509 610 312 and ask for a member of the Care Team so that we can advise you accordingly. Alternatively, please visit either of the above offices or email us on and a member of our team will be happy to assist you.