Childcare & Social Services

Our child law solicitors are on hand to provide advice and support when you need it most.

I appreciated the way my case was handled. Thank you for going the extra mile and providing prompt answers to all my questions. Thanking you for walking me through the 2 year process, reassuring me every step of the way.

Simi via Yell Reviews

Child Law Solicitors London & Southeast

Child law matters need to be handled with expert care and sensitivity. At Appleman Legal, our family law team strive to help you through the legal process as efficiently as possible. Our lawyers are here to listen and provide advice tailored to your needs.

Care Proceedings

If Social Services are concerned for the welfare of a child, then the legal process known as care proceedings will begin. This can be an extremely distressing time for parents, but our family law team are on hand to help you through this difficult process.

Under section 17 of the Children Act 1989, a local authority has a duty to help and support any child they identify as ‘in need’. A child in need is someone who, without the support of the local authority, is:

    Unlikely to achieve/maintain, or have the opportunity to achieve/maintain, a reasonable standard of health or development
    Likely to suffer a significant impairment to their health or development

What is an Interim Care Order?

When care proceedings start, an Interim Care Order can be made to make temporary care decisions for the child. These Orders can last up to eight weeks at first and be renewed every four weeks.

What is a Care Order and how is it made?

Care Orders will give the local authority parental responsibility and the right to decide where the child should live. A Care Order cannot be made for a child who is 17 years old.

The local authority can apply to the Court for a Care Order if they believe a child is at risk of suffering significant harm. The Court must be satisfied that the child is at risk due to the level of care they are getting or that the child is beyond parental control. 

How long does a Care Order last?

A Care Order will stay in place until the child is 18 years old although it can end earlier for certain reasons, such as if the child is adopted or the Order is discharged.

If an application for a Care Order is made, or you believe care proceedings are about to start, it is vital to seek legal advice as soon as possible. 


Contact our Childcare & Social Service Solicitors for a Free Consultation

Our friendly solicitors can offer child-related legal advice to clients in Cambridge and across London. If you would like to discuss your situation further, please get in touch with our family lawyers today.