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For those who have involvement with Social Services this is an extremely frightening and confusing time. There are a number of ways in which the Local Authority may be involved ranging from a child suffering an injury to neglect.

The Local Authority may initially seek to work with parents under a child protection plan in which scenario we are able to offer advice and general assistance and attend appropriate meetings with the parents for support.

The Local Authority may initially seek to investigate matters further until satisfied that there is no risk to a child and seek to place the child in temporary care. This may be done on a voluntarily basis. Again we are able to offer advice and support in such circumstances depending on the situation of the individual.

In serious cases the Local Authority may ask a Police inspector to remove a child from the care of the parents. This is called a Police Protection Order and is made in extreme circumstances where a child needs urgent protection and if not taken from the parent’s care immediately is likely to suffer significant harm. This is a temporary order intended until such time as the Local Authority can make a formal application to the Court.

The Local Authority may also seek to obtain an Emergency Protection Order. Again this is an order which would be sought on short notice when a child is of likely risk of suffering significant harm and such risk is imminent. Upon the making of such an order this would allow the Local Authority to place a child in temporary foster care until matters are finally considered by the Court, having obtained full information. Again this is a temporary Order and the Local Authority must if a child remains at risk seek an Interim Care Order.

An Interim Care Order can be granted by the Court in such circumstances where a child is likely to suffer significant harm, not removed from the parent's care. This is an Order which would assist in the removal of the child whilst proceedings for a full Care Order take place.

Within those proceedings the Local Authority are obliged to ensure that the parents continue to have contact and that appropriate family members and indeed the parents are assessed as potential carers. The Local Authority would also as part of their case undertake a full assessment of the parent's ability to care and it is based on that evidence and the evidence of the Guardian that an independent person be appointed to represent the interests of a child that the Court would ultimately make a decision as to whether the child may return to the parents or should be removed from their care indefinitely. Such orders are draconian orders in nature and will only be made after full consideration of the facts and evidence.

We are able to assist parents through this whole process and explain stage by stage process and assist in accessing further urgencies which may assist in developing skills necessary to meet the child’s needs.

Make sure your child’s voice is heard by contacting the Family Law team today on 01274 724114.

Vintry House, 18-24 Piccadilly, Bradford
Tel: 01274 724114 Fax: 01274 724161

Authorised and regulated by the Solicitors
Regulation Authority: REGIS 613817

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