Child Social Care

Care Orders

What are Care Orders?

A Care Order places your child in the care of a particular Local Authority. This gives the Local Authority Parental Responsibility.

How long does a Care Order last?

An Interim Care Order can last for the duration of the proceedings until a final Court hearing can take place.

A final Care Order can last until a child is 18 years old or unless the Court does one of the following;

  • Makes a Child Arrangements Order to live with or Special Guardianship Order
  • Ends (discharges) the Full Care Order when it decides it should not continue
  • Makes a Supervision Order, or,
  • Makes an Adoption Order

Will I still have my Parental Responsibility for my child?

If you already have Parental Responsibility for your child, it will be shared between yourself and the Local Authority. This will allow the Local Authority to make decisions about your child’s upbringing.

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Find out if you have a claim. Contact Ringrose Law.0333 3580 393Contact Us

What if I don’t agree with the Local Authority?

If there is a dispute between you and the Local Authority over matters concerning your child’s upbringing, the Local Authority has the power to override your decisions.

If you feel the Local Authority is being unreasonable you can go the Courts and contest the issue.

Can Care Orders be discharged?

Yes. However, the parents need to demonstrate to the Court that there has been a significant change in their circumstances from when the Care Order was issued, ensuring the child’s safety and welfare.

What do I need to do next?

If you are worried that this will happen to you and your child or it is happening to you then you must contact us immediately. We can act on your behalf. Understanding your situation and working together with the Courts and the Local Authority to ensure the best outcome for you and your child.

For further help and advice concerning Care Orders contact the Ringrose Law Children Department in Boston, Grantham, Lincoln, Sleaford and Newark.

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    Further Information


    The Court can decide to make a Care Order if they feel that your standard of parenting has fallen below what would reasonably be expected of a parent and that the child has suffered or at risk of suffering significant emotional or physical harm.

    Often, the Local Authority will give detailed and specific examples of the reasons why they have applied for a Care Order. These examples form the “Threshold Criteria” and this criteria must be met in order for the court to make an order.

    The first Interim Care Order will be made for up to 8 weeks. At the end of proceedings if a Care Order is made then they the Care Order will be applicable until the child is 18 years old.

    A Guardian will be appointed for a child during Care Proceedings to represent the child in Court. It is important that all parties including the Local Authority, parents and solicitors cooperate with the Guardian as their primary role is the welfare of the child. The Guardian will represent the child during Court hearings and will put to the Court what they believe to be the child’s best interests (which may not coincide with either the parents or Local Authority)

    Typically Court proceedings can take approximately 40 weeks. This will depend on the availability of the court and various experts who may be called to give evidence at a final hearing.

    Costa KyriacouPartner & Head of Children Law
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    01522 561044
    Laura HamiltonSolicitor, Children Law
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    01522 561020
    Sehrish HussainSolicitor - Children Law
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    01522 561031
    Charley CookTrainee Legal Executive, Children Law
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    01205 311511
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      General enquiries: 0333 3580 393Your local office: NewarkGranthamSleafordBostonLincoln