Social Services have a statutory obligation to safeguard and promote the welfare of all children.
The Court can make a Supervision Order in favour of a Local Authority if it considers that the threshold criteria under Section 31(2) of the Children Act 1989 have been met. It must be in the child’s best interests for the Court to make a Supervision Order and it should be necessary and proportionate to make a Supervision Order.
If you are a parent or someone with parental responsibility for a child and the Local Authority seek a Supervision Order then you will automatically qualify for legal aid and you should seek legal advice. Emery Johnson Astills care solicitors have a wealth of experience in advising and representing parents or people with parental responsibility in relation to Supervision Orders.
A Supervision Order is as suggested by its name, the Local Authority being able to ‘supervise’ a child for a specific period of time. Whilst a Supervision Order is in place a Local Authority has three duties towards the child under the Order:-
- To advise, befriend and assist the child,
- To take steps that are necessary to give the order full effect,
- If the order is not followed, or the Local Authority feel as though the order is no longer needed, then the Local Authority would consider varying the order.
A Supervision Order does not grant the Local Authority parental responsibility for your child, however a Social Worker will be allocated to your family for the duration of the Order. If the Supervision Order is breached it does not automatically mean that the Supervision Order will become a Care Order (meaning the Local Authority would share parental responsibility). At this stage the Local Authority would have to consider how to deal with the breach and whether the matter should be returned to Court.
If Social Services are involved with your family and you would like to speak to one of our specialist solicitors within the care department at Emery Johnson Astills, please do not hesitate to call us on 0116 255 4855.