When can you apply to discharge a Care Order?
When a Final Care Order is made the Local Authority share parental responsibility for a child and can make decisions about them, such as where they live, until they turn 18. A Care Order can be made with a plan for a child to live in long-term foster care or perhaps with other family members. Final Care Orders may be made when a Court is satisfied that a parent/parents can’t safely care for a child.
If a parent/carer feels as though they have made the necessary changes to be able to care safely for a child they can apply to the Court to discharge the Care Order. Alternatively, an older child who is competent, can sometimes apply to discharge a Care Order themselves if they are old enough and mature enough to do so. The Court is less likely to discharge the Care Order if it was only made recently.
Once an application to discharge the Care Order is made, the Court may decide that the parents need to be re-assessed to show whether they can safely look after the children and what changes they have made since the Care Order was made. The Court’s concern will be the child’s welfare i.e. what is best for the child. The Court will weigh up the new evidence and make a decision based on what is in the child’s best interests. The care department at Emery Johnson Astills can represent you through this process.
If you are a parent/carer or young person who wants some advice about being able to discharge a Care Order contact Emery Johnson Astills’ care department on 0116 255 4855 to discuss making the application and whether you could be eligible for Legal Aid.