Section 20 agreements allow the local authority to remove a child and place them in foster care without the need for a court order. Whether or not to enter into a section 20 agreement is a voluntary decision made by the parents with the local authority....
A care order is an order which places a child under the protection of social services. If the local authority has issued care proceedings in relation to your children, this may be one of the orders that they are seeking. A care order or interim care order gives the local authority parental responsibility and the power to remove a child into foster care.
The social services department of your local authority must apply to the court for a care order. If an interim care order is granted the local authority will share parental responsibility for the child with the parents.They will also play a major role in decisions about the child’s welfare and upbringing, such as where they live and where they go to school.
A court can only grant the local authority a care order or interim care order if they believe that:
- The child is suffering harm, or is at risk of suffering harm in the future; and
- The harm is being caused by the child’s parents, or
- The parents are unable to protect the child from harm as they are unable to control the child.
It is possible for parents or other family members to challenge the making of a care order. Our specialist solicitors will be able to provide you with advice specific to you and your family’s circumstances.