Expert legal advice from family lawyers who are experienced in public law can make all the difference if you are challenging a care or supervision order.

Supervision orders

Local authorities (LAs) can only obtain a supervision order by applying to the court. In order to make a supervision order the court must be satisfied that the child is suffering harm or is at risk of harm either from people in the child's home environment or because of an inability of the child's parents to keep him or her from harm.

Supervision orders require that children be monitored and/or supervised by social services regardless of where they reside – for example, with a biological or non-biological parent or with a grandparent or other relative. Supervision orders should always be made in the best interests of the child.

This type of court order is not restricted to cases of possible abuse. If there is concern over neglect – for example, there is a belief that the child is at risk because of inadequate clothing, feeding or housing – courts may also be compelled to make a supervision order.

In their supervisory capacity, local authorities "assist, advise and befriend" the child; taking steps to ensure the order is carried out, and, if the order is not followed, considering "whether to vary the order, attach requirements to it, or even substitute it for a care order". Social workers visit the child's home in order to make regular assessments in line with the LA's responsibilities

Care orders

Although breaking the conditions set out in a supervision order does not result in its automatic replacement with a care order or emergency protection order, either order is possible when local authorities and courts agree that the child or children concerned are at "significant risk".

Care orders ensure that children identified as being at risk are placed under the care of a local Health and Social Care (HSC) Trust. Trusts are given parental responsibility for the child alongside the parents but have the power to make key decisions regarding the child's upbringing, such as where they reside and which school they attend.

Find the right family lawyer with Oratto

If you wish to challenge the making of a supervision order or care order, it is essential that you seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity.

Oratto's member family lawyers work at established and leading firms across the country and have the necessary skill and knowledge to effectively represent you if you feel the Local Authority's decisions are flawed.

Find the specialist who is local to you by browsing through our solicitor profiles. Alternatively, try our matching service, so that we can find the solicitor who we feel best matches your case requirements.