Child Care Proceedings
A Supervision Order is made after the local authority makes an application to Court and satisfies a judge that the child is, or could be, at risk of significant harm at the start of the case. During the course of the proceedings, the parents may have improved their parenting to the extent that by the end of the case the local authority supports the child staying at home with the parents, subject to a support package being put in place to help them.
A Supervision Order means that the local authority has to “advise, assist and befriend” a child who is named in the order and gives the local authority the legal right to implement a supervision plan that will have been drawn up during the Court proceedings. The plan is approved by a Judge and outlines the support that the local authority will give to parents to ensure that they can safely look after their child and promote their welfare. A Supervision Order may have conditions attached to it, such as having to alert the supervisor or social worker if you plan on changing address so that they can visit the child and ensure the child’s welfare is being promoted.
If you have received a supervision order for your child, it is in your best interests to acquire professional legal advice at your earliest convenience. At Cartwright King, we take a non-judgemental, professional approach to our client’s cases and acknowledge your right to legal representation. Our acclaimed Child Care solicitors are available to put your mind at ease by supporting you through the legal proceedings and representing you in court if the need arises.
Free initial telephone consultation
Everyone has the right to advice if they are dealing with child care issues and Supervision Orders. Our experienced lawyers are available at any time of day or night to help you. Our highly skilled Child Care team are here to take the worry off your hands.
We will happily provide an initial free telephone consultation to discuss your situation in more detail and if you are happy to proceed with our services, you will either be quoted an estimated or a fixed fee on a private fee paying basis. In some cases, Legal Aid may be available. Our fees will be dependent on a variety of factors such as what your case entails and the duration of your case. Please feel free to contact us for a no obligation quote.
What is a Supervision Order?
A supervision order permits the local authority through an assigned social worker to supervise and monitor a child’s needs when they are not in the care of the local authority. In order to have a supervision order, the local authority must have a Court approved supervision plan, which sets out the support and guidance the local authority will give to parents to support the child living at home safely.
Once a Supervision Order has been made, it is usually in place for a year; however, the period during which supervision takes place can be extended for up to three years or brought to an end earlier. If it is important to remember that your child will not automatically be taken into care if new concerns arise, however the Local Authority could go to court and request a care order if they believe the child is once again at risk of significant harm. Whilst a supervision order does not grant the local authority parental responsibility for the child, Section 31 of the Children Act 1989 states that it is the supervisor’s responsibility to:
- Befriend, assist and advise the supervised child;
- Take any steps reasonably necessary to give effect to the supervision order;
- Consider whether or not to apply to the court to change or discharge the order where the order is not complied with or where it is no longer necessary;
It is also important to note that a Supervision Order may require the child to submit to a medical or psychiatric examination as directed by the supervisor. This will only be requested in situations where the court believes there is evidence to suggest such examination is necessary.
Why would there be a Supervision Order?
For there to be a supervision order, the local authority will still have some concerns about the care of a child, but the parents will have demonstrated a willingness to work with the local authority and other professionals. The parents will already have improved their parenting to the extent that the local authority feels they can trust the parents to safely look after the child, with support.
Supervision orders are applied for if the local authority is concerned that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm at the hands of the parent(s) that are providing their care or if the child is deemed to be beyond parental control. This is known as “threshold” and is the same criteria as for when the local authority seeks a care order. If the Court finds the threshold met, then the Court may make a supervision order. If a local authority applies for a care order then the Court can make a supervision order instead, and vice versa and the process for obtaining these orders is largely the same, to include the Court granting interim supervision orders while Court proceedings are on-going. Please read our information about Care Orders for more detail on the court process.
How can we help you?
If you or somebody you know is going through Court proceedings for a supervision order, our experienced Child Care solicitors are available to advise you throughout the entire process to adhere to the procedure and build a strong case for your defence. We promise to:
- Advise you throughout the entire process
- Treat your case in a non-judgemental, sensitive manner
- Deal confidentially with any concerns you may have
- Represent you in court where necessary
- Prepare and collate any and all documentary evidence that may be required
- Take the worry off your hands
- Prepare an appeal if necessary
Our team are highly ranked in the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners guides. We have extensive experience in successfully defending family matters, with our acclaimed Child Care solicitors who are renowned for their professional approach.
Legal Aid is available in this area which means that you may be eligible for free advice. To discuss your eligibility for Legal Aid please get in contact with us for free initial advice.
If you are not eligible for Legal Aid then we can discuss affordable private paying fee arrangements.