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Supervision orders - child care proceedings

A supervision order is an order which requires a child to be supervised by social services, while still in the family home (or placed with a relative), to make sure that the child is well cared for. This could include whether the child is being fed, clothed and kept clean as well as if the child is being raised in a stable environment.

The local authority must apply for a supervision order through the court. A court can only grant a supervision order if they believe that:

  1. The child is suffering harm, or is at risk of suffering harm in the future; and
  2. The harm is being caused by the child’s parents, or
  3. The parents are unable to protect the child from harm as they are unable to control the child.

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Parental responsibility

Unlike a care order, a supervision order does not give the local authority any parental responsibility. The duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of the child rests on his parents (or carer). However, the local authority is under a duty to advise, assist and befriend the child.

Social workers will have access to the home and child to make regular assessments of the quality of care being provided.

A supervision order is made for one year, but it can be stopped (discharged) earlier or extended for a total of up to three years.

If it is believed that the quality of care being provided to the child is not sufficient, or is deteriorating, the local authority may apply for a further order, such as a care order or emergency protection order.

If you wish to challenge the making of a supervision order, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. Please call us on 01616 966 229 for a free, no obligation initial chat with one of our legal advisors.

Stephensons’ family law team has a strong reputation for achieving positive outcomes for its clients. The department was voted the Family Law Firm of the Year in 2014 and is accredited in the Legal 500 and the Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession as ‘leaders in the field of child care’.

Is legal aid available for supervision orders?

In the event that social services are applying for a supervision order in relation to your children, legal aid is always automatically available - it may also be available to extended family members but will depend on whether they are eligible by way of their means and the strength of their case.

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4.7 score on Trustpilot Based on count 984

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