Information on care proceedings ('Public Law' cases)
'Care’ or ‘Supervision’ proceedings are where a Local Authority has applied to the family court to protect a child when there are serious concerns about a child’s safety or welfare.
Children can be taken into care when there are serious safeguarding concerns such as they are suffering, or are likely to suffer, significant harm from the way they are looked after, or if they are beyond the control of a parent or carer.
The types of serious safeguarding concerns that may lead a local authority to apply to the court to protect the child include:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
The local authority will provide evidence to the court setting out their concerns for the child and a plan that details safe arrangements for the child and any assessments that may need to be undertaken.
The court will consider all of the evidence available to make a decision that is safe for the child, this includes whether an order needs to be made to safeguard the child, where the child should live and the contact arrangement with family. The court will try to make a decision about what is going to happen to your child within 26 weeks of the application being made. During this time key professionals will be carrying out work to further understand your child’s situation and will make recommendations to help the court to make final decisions about the child.
The outcome for the child will usually be one of the following:
- Returning home – if the safety and quality of parenting improves
- Going to live with a relative in the child’s extended family
- Going to live with a foster parent
- Being adopted
Children’s Rights (UNCRC) and the law about children
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is an international agreement which protects the human rights of children under the age of 18. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) was ratified by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 1989.
There are 54 articles in the Convention.
- Articles 1-42 set out how children should be treated.
- Articles 43-45 are about how adults and governments should work together to make sure all children are entitled to their rights.
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