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My Children Have Been Taken Into Care - What Are my Legal Rights?

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 17 Sep 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Parental Rights Family Law Law And

Q.

My children have been taken into care, Social Services have said it is respite care and that they are not on any register. I was asked to sign some paper work but was not given a copy.

My children were extremely upset at the time and the social worker thought it best to just leave. Social Services will not disclose the location of my very young family.

What are my legal rights?
(Mr PJ, 11 September 2008)

A.

Unfortunately, the law is on the side of Social Services if you have signed some paperwork. It is likely that the paperwork you signed was an order issued by the Family Proceedings Court giving Social Services temporary custody of your children. However, they are not the wards of Social Services but are wards of your Local Authority.

Initially, what should have happened was Social Services should have applied for an Emergency Order to have the children taken into care, and then they will have had to go back to Family Proceedings Court to get a care order. You should have been made aware of this from the outset so that you could have voiced your objections or petitioned the Family Proceedings Court to return a different ruling.

Once the children have been removed from your care and been placed in the care of the Local Authority, Social Services are not obliged – by law – to give you details of your children’s whereabouts for their own safety, even though from your point of view the children are perfectly safe in your presence. This is designed to protect not only the children but the identity of any Foster Parents the children may be placed with, however temporary.

Your first point of recourse should be Social Services, especially if you were not provided with copies of all relevant paperwork. In any instance of taking children into custody, you should be provided with copies of all orders issued or affected so that you are fully aware of your legal standing. Social services should give you exact details of why the children were removed from your care and qualify what exactly they mean by respite care. They should also be giving you details of any Family Proceedings Court hearings that are due to take place.

It is best to seek representation from a solicitor who specialises in family law and ask them to act as a mediator between you and your Local Authority. They will also be able to obtain copies of all orders and documentation relating to your case and clarify what you signed and what you agreed to.

He or she may also be able to petition the Family Proceedings Court for a hearing that clarifies everyone’s position in the matter and may also bring about a scenario where visits – albeit supervised ones – can be arranged.

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P - Your Question:
Hi need some advice please my children have been taken into tempory care until court decide weather or not children should cone home or to put temp with a family member, but this family member has had involvement with ss before and had her kids took off her but this was a good few years ago but as she has not told them about this can my children be places with her if can't come home need some advice soon many thanks

Our Response:
We can't really advise if we don't know all the circumstances. The courts will usually order an investigation into the background of any one who would potentially have care of your children though. You can try contacting the family lives helpline on 0808 800 2222
LawAndParents - 19-Sep-17 @ 12:22 PM
Hi need some advice please my children have been taken into tempory care until court decide weather or not children should cone home or to put temp with a family member, but this family member has had involvement with ss before and had her kids took off her but this was a good few years ago but as she has not told them about this can my children be places with her if can't come home need some advice soon many thanks
P - 17-Sep-17 @ 3:54 PM
Krissy - Your Question:
Hi I need some help please.I got an appeal for more contact with my two young sons who are in foster care since June 2015 as at the moment we only get one hour and a half every two months they have three sisters also who I got home last year after a long fight but because I have a child with disability my eldest daughter who just turned thirteen they said I couldn't cope with all five which was a lie so my sons remained in foster care which is not right.I was told by my solicitor there would be three judges,when I got to court this Monday 4th September on the board it was the same Judge that took my sons away and ordered they remain in foster care till my sons are eighteen.This Judge is not very nice and will never go back on her judgment so should she be allowed to do my appeal?She has now ordered I do a statement saying why I want more time and to prove I'm not trying to get my sons home then come back to court and go on the witness stand be questioned,I just don't understand and I done loads of statements last year and had to be in the box twice we just want more time and I will never ever give up to get my sons home I will do whatever it takes.They don't make it easy and social services are so awkward and never listen.Is there anything else I can do?Can I ask for a different judge?Any help I would be grateful.Thank you

Our Response:
You could try seeking some individual advice and support on the Family Lives Helpline
LawAndParents - 8-Sep-17 @ 12:04 PM
Hi I need some help please.I got an appeal for more contact with my two young sons who are in foster care since June 2015 as at the moment we only get one hour and a half every two months they have three sisters also who I got home last year after a long fight but because I have a child with disability my eldest daughter who just turned thirteen they said I couldn't cope with all five which was a lie so my sons remained in foster care whichis not right.I was told by my solicitor there would be three judges,when i got to court this Monday 4th September on the board it was the same Judge that took my sons away and ordered they remain in foster care till my sons are eighteen.This Judge is not very nice and will never go back on her judgment so should she be allowed to do my appeal?She has now ordered I do a statement saying why I want more time and to prove I'm not trying to get my sons home then come back to court and go on the witness stand be questioned,I just don't understand and I done loads of statements last year and had to be in the box twice we just want more time and I will never ever give up to get my sons home I will do whatever it takes.They don't make it easy and social services are so awkward and never listen.Is there anything else I can do?Can I ask for a different judge?Any help i would be grateful.Thank you
Krissy - 7-Sep-17 @ 12:03 PM
Chedd - Your Question:
Hi My daughter contacted me last night she is in foster care. Her mother ran away with her 14 and a half years ago. I have not been able to find her. What can I do to help her or be involved in her life. I am not happy I was not contacted. I want her with me. Please advise what I can do.

Our Response:
Can you speak with social services in the area where your daughter is living? Alternatively, apply to the court for contact etc?
LawAndParents - 5-Sep-17 @ 12:23 PM
Hi My daughter contacted me last night she is in foster care. Her mother ran away with her 14 and a half years ago. I have not been able to find her. What can i do to help her or be involved in her life. I am not happy I was not contacted. I want her with me. Please advise what I can do.
Chedd - 3-Sep-17 @ 5:42 PM
AMY - Your Question:
Hi there I am 25 and just found out I am pregnant I have 2 children who are in care because they said I neglected them they were 4 and 2 when they went I call every few months to talk to the social worker about they took them 6 years ago I have moved got a job can they take my child off me

Our Response:
Talk to social services as you'll be on their register anyway. They don't want to take children away from their mothers and will re-assess your situatiion, acknowledging the fact that you are older and have a job etc. Hopefully they will support you in bringing up this next baby yourself.
LawAndParents - 9-Aug-17 @ 12:23 PM
hi there i am 25 and just found out i am pregnant i have 2 children who are in care because they said i neglected them they were 4 and 2 when they went i call every few months to talk to the social worker about they took them 6 years ago i have moved got a job can they take my child off me
AMY - 7-Aug-17 @ 6:54 PM
My daughter has bipolar and was using Cocaine as a coping mechanism, her 13 and 2 year old daughters were placed with their paternal Grandmothers whilst her medication was ujusted, and her children were place back with by order of the Court, she had a still birth 11 months after her youngest was born , she had periods throughout this pregnancy and has irritable bowel syndrome, which was when she started using. Because she had a relapse the paternal grandmothers decided to go for special Guardianship, I'm the paternal grandmother and was positively assessed to. However tHe CourtGuardian almost threatened myself,my daughter and my Granddaughter saying if we don't except the special guardianship and Supervision order at the pre hearing and continue myself seeking Guardianship, they would fight a bloody contest with.usI have a severe degenerated disc in my neck and was prescribed a heavy dose of Pregablin and Morphine , the Morphine I did not take in case of dependence, so used Cannabis for pain, my Pregablin was weaned up over time and has now reached a very good pain management, therefore I have not used Cannabis for six weeks of which I informed Child services , can they do this to us, LA was supporting for Special Guardianship, but now only the older child, can they do this awful thing to us. My eldest Granddaughter has been living with me since Christmas 2016.We need help and advice quickly.
Jessica, her childre - 28-Jul-17 @ 9:32 PM
My daughter is with my Mum, Who I have never got on with.My daughter is 13 and hormonal. She is also v stubborn. We have been arguing for months and 3 weeks ago the arguing turned physical.My daughter won't speak to me. I phoned yesterday but my daughter refused to speak with me.and the social worker said I couldn't speak to her. I have had no paperwork or information from anybody. What is likely to happen
surferchick. - 22-Jul-17 @ 12:02 PM
My daughter has bipolar and was using Cocaine as a coping mechanism, her 13 and 2 year old daughters were placed with their paternal Grandmothers whilst her medication was ujusted, and her children were place back with by order of the Court, she had a still birth 11 months after her youngest was born , she had periods throughout this pregnancy and has irritable bowel syndrome, which was when she started using. Because she had a relapse the paternal grandmothers decided to go for special Guardianship, I'm the paternal grandmother and was positively assessed to. However tHe CourtGuardian almost threatened myself,my daughter and my Granddaughter saying if we don't except the special guardianship and Supervision order at the pre hearing and continue myself seeking Guardianship, they would fight a bloody contest with.usI have a severe degenerated disc in my neck and was prescribed a heavy dose of Pregablin and Morphine , the Morphine I did not take in case of dependence, so used Cannabis for pain, my Pregablin was weaned up over time and has now reached a very good pain management, therefore I have not used Cannabis for six weeks of which I informed Child services , can they do this to us, LA was supporting for Special Guardianship, but now only the older child, can they do this awful thing to us. My eldest Granddaughter has been living with me since Christmas 2016.We need help and advice quickly.
Jessica, her childre - 5-Jul-17 @ 6:40 AM
Sonj - Your Question:
Hi I'm trying to get my two children home.portsmouth social services took my two children away as my youngest son had a breakdown after his dad overdosed and self harmed in front of him.everyone else was asleep so I didn't know what was going on.I am separated from the kids dad and I have redecorate the whole house.I've been on parenting courses.I really want them home.we have been punished because of the kids dad.he got away with all of the abuse and bullying of my two boys.portsmouth social services have bullied me and my kids.they have stuck up for there dad it's disgusting.how can I get them home

Our Response:
The Family Lives Helpline or theFamily Rights Group would be could places to start for individual advice.
LawAndParents - 13-Jun-17 @ 12:04 PM
Hi I'm trying to get my two children home .portsmouth social services took my two children away as my youngest son had a breakdown after his dad overdosed and self harmed in front of him.everyone else was asleep so I didn't know what was going on.I am separated from the kids dad and I have redecorate the whole house.I've been on parenting courses.I really want them home.we have been punished because of the kids dad.he got away with all of the abuse and bullying of my two boys.portsmouth social services have bullied me and my kids.they have stuck up for there dad it's disgusting.how can I get them home
Sonj - 10-Jun-17 @ 2:27 PM
My friends son aged 6 has been fostered & the legal guardian appointed by the court has told us that she is telling my son the reasons why he has been fostered and says she has the right also to tell him that my current partner is not his biological father altho my son aged 6 has only known my current partner frm birth to present can this not be our decision thank you
Jose - 8-Jun-17 @ 9:18 PM
HI, can any body out there advise me how can we(wife and my self) get back our grand children from social service? my son is a drug addict and he hasbeen convicted for violence for few times, whenever he was short of money to buy drug he used force to his wife to get money but he never laid finger on his wife and children and police were called number of time. my daughter-in-law is a really good mum never drink, never smoke, never go out without her children,whenever she need any help always get support from my wife(mother in law) they were very good friend. The social service put the restraining order against my son, after about 4 months of this order once he went by the house and was waiting for children to come out, he knew that this is the time for children to go to Arabic class and children come out of the house and they ran to father mum could not stop the children and he took them to the class and police saw it and arrest him, in the eye's of the social security mum allowed it. social went to the court and court order was made for children to be taken from mum, its not only mum. mum, my wife and myself become a dead body almost every minutes we cry, can't think of any thing else, can't sleep in the night or day, I don't think one can ever describe the feeling and mental suffering we are going through, my wife and I were so closed to our grand children, for us it is like end of life, it is been about 15 days and we cannot forget them for a second. social only allow mum to visit children although we were very closed to our g children social service did not even answer my phone call or my text so far. social should understand that, we believe we are human being, we have a feeling as well, how a mum, a g father, a g mum even a addicted father can feel when 3 of their children have been taken a way, thiscan't be the law for human being we respect the but when 3 children were taken a way by some rude people, some polite people should come to us and explain the situation and some expert should be with them to council them to over come the different kind of pain not many people experience, instead social told my kind and very much loved daughter-in-law to complete cut the relationship with us, now I have been to so many places they all make me hope less, until next hearing the social service not going to allow mum to get her children back, is there anything as we grand parents can do to get our grand children back to us?
Haq - 19-May-17 @ 6:50 PM
Jen - Your Question:
Socail workers went to court with out telling anyone and took my baby when was asleep getting c section I haven't seen or holded my baby is this right ?

Our Response:
Were you told this might happen before the birth? You might be better talking to someone in person. If there is noone in your support network to help, try Citizens' Advice or the Family Rights Group which has a helpline.
LawAndParents - 17-May-17 @ 11:57 AM
Socail workers went to court with out telling anyone and took my baby when was asleep getting c section I haven't seen or holded my baby is this right ?
Jen - 15-May-17 @ 11:45 PM
Krissy- Your Question:
Hi can I take the social services back to court and revoke their long term foster care plan?It will be six months on the 25th May 2017 since the final hearing and order was made.I desperately want my two young sons home.My three daughters were returned to my care last year and everything is going really well their twelve months supervision order for my two younger daughters is finished my eldest daughter who has special needs her order runs out soon.I've done domestic violence course,I've done five parenting programs and due to start another in the 24th May.I am trying so hard and doing everything I can surely there must be a way to have my sons back at home.The judge made an order for foster care till my sons are eighteen but I did nothing wrong and was proven innocent I did nothing but have a little struggle and asked for help and they took all my children.My sons are both so sad and it breaks my heart.The social services have the order but why won't they let my sons come home they could send them home anytime but I know they never will.How can they just kidnap or however you want to say it and that's it.My sons have the right to grow up with their mother and siblings.Please there must be something I can do anything just let me know.Also I have already made formal complaints against the social workers and right now the legal omnibus man who I had to also go to about them is dealing with some of my issues which I'm so glad I went to.But thanks for advice.Any advice on court orders and if you can take social services back to court and ever have my sons home would be appreciated,thank you

Our Response:
It might be worth giving the Family Rights Group a call. Their helpline number is 0808 801 0366
LawAndParents - 12-May-17 @ 12:50 PM
Hi can I take the social services back to court and revoke their long term foster care plan?It will be six months on the 25th May 2017 since the final hearing and order was made.I desperately want my two young sons home.My three daughters were returned to my care last year and everything is going really well their twelve months supervision order for my two younger daughters is finished my eldest daughter who has special needs her order runs out soon.I've done domestic violence course,I've done five parenting programs and due to start another in the 24th May.I am trying so hard and doing everything I can surely there must be a way to have my sons back at home.The judge made an order for foster care till my sons are eighteen but I did nothing wrong and was proven innocent I did nothing but have a little struggle and asked for help and they took all my children.My sons are both so sad and it breaks my heart.The social services have the order but why won't they let my sons come home they could send them home anytime but I know they never will.How can they just kidnap or however you want to say it and that's it.My sons have the right to grow up with their mother and siblings.Please there must be something I can do anything just let me know.Also I have already made formal complaints against the social workers and right now the legal omnibus man who I had to also go to about them is dealing with some of my issues which I'm so glad I went to.But thanks for advice.Any advice on court orders and if you can take social services back to court and ever have my sons home would be appreciated,thank you
Krissy - 11-May-17 @ 10:05 AM
Krissy- Your Question:
Hi my two young sons were taken along with their three older sisters in 2015 June after a long fight I have my three daughters home the judge ordered that my two sons remain in long term foster care on the 25th November 2016 I lost my appeal I didn't even get heard.We get 1hr and half every two months and I have to send my daughters some where after an hr,this can't be right.I have tryed and tryed speaking with my sons social worker but she is rude and never listens and now says because I made a complaint against her she can't meet or discuss my concerns or change the times I have to wait till the 16 th March to discuss anything and only today got a letter from social worker saying that my sons have a new social worker now and her name and said I have to now contact her if I have any matters.This is just wrong and frustrating.They have not stuck to any of their care plans they have just changed my sons school which they have attended for a year and were just settling to,my eldest son who is only just turned eight which I didn't even get to see on his birthday tells them and me he's unhappy and his foster carer is horrible to him and shouts and tells him off for nothing and says things to him no foster carer or anyone should be saying to him but no one listens and the social worker calls him liver this is in unreal.Can I take them back to court and revoke the care order?Is there something I can do?I just want my sons home where they belong and with their sisters.It has been six months since the court order.Please help.Thank you.

Our Response:
This page gives details of how to make a complaint regarding a social worker or care organisation (local authority).
LawAndParents - 9-May-17 @ 11:50 AM
Hi my two young sons were taken along with their three older sisters in 2015 June after a long fight I have my three daughters home the judge ordered that my two sons remain in long term foster care on the 25th November 2016 I lost my appeal I didn't even get heard.We get 1hr and half every two months and I have to send my daughters some where after an hr,this can't be right.I have tryed and tryed speaking with my sons social worker but she is rude and never listens and now says because I made a complaint against her she can't meet or discuss my concerns or change the times I have to wait till the 16 th March to discuss anything and only today got a letter from social worker saying that my sons have a new social worker now and her name and said I have to now contact her if I have any matters.This is just wrong and frustrating.They have not stuck to any of their care plans they have just changed my sons school which they have attended for a year and were just settling to,my eldest son who is only just turned eight which I didn't even get to see on his birthday tells them and me he's unhappy and his foster carer is horrible to him and shouts and tells him off for nothing and says things to him no foster carer or anyone should be saying to him but no one listens and the social worker calls him liver this is in unreal.Can I take them back to court and revoke the care order?Is there something I can do?I just want my sons home where they belong and with their sisters .It has been six months since the court order.Please help.Thank you.
Krissy - 7-May-17 @ 5:06 PM
Jemz - Your Question:
Hi, so my partners children has been taken off their so-called mother and put into foster care, long story short social services are now putting the younger child with myself and partner and I'm so nervous and excited, but we have nothing i.e. Bed, toys, things that she will need, does anyone know if social services will help with any of that? It's just that it will be happening in the next two weeks, and we have nothing yet!!! Thanks

Our Response:
Just ask them! Sometimes they'll be able to do it, but if not, they'll certainly know of places that can help. Try also, your local Citizens' Advice, local Facebook community pages and charity shops in your area...they'll all know where you can find good quality items that people no longer need. You might also have a toy library in your area (where you can borrow toys/books etc)
LawAndParents - 19-Apr-17 @ 11:35 AM
Hi, so my partners children has been taken off their so-called mother and put into foster care, long story short social services are now putting the younger child with myself and partner and I'm so nervous and excited, but we have nothing i.e. Bed, toys, things that she will need, does anyone know if social services will help with any of that? It's just that it will be happening in the next two weeks, and we have nothing yet!!! Thanks
Jemz - 16-Apr-17 @ 6:22 PM
I have 2 half brothers of whom I don't know as I have no contact with our father. I have just found out they have been taken into care and am now wondering if there is anything I can do?
Hw - 15-Apr-17 @ 4:24 PM
My 3 children have been placed on an interim care order because the local authority lied to the judge and said that I was drink driving my car when I prooved later on that it wasn't the case. I was not drink driving but didn't have paperwork that day. My son has disabilities but their trying to say I've made that up. My son told me that his foster carer had picked him up and thrown him onto the bed. They have also said that the carer shouts a lot. Please tell me who I contact about this? I'm very worried about my children and so Broken.
Lyd - 6-Apr-17 @ 11:00 PM
Donna - Your Question:
Please help my 5 cousin was taken in to long term foster care about 5years ago and 2weeks ago their mum past away. None of her family gets to see the children only their father mother and the children dad. We would like some advice on where to start to get contact with the children I foster care. I want them to know even know they not going to see their mum any more they do have other family that care and love them. Please help

Our Response:
You will need to contact the agency that recommended the foster care (often social services - so try your county council) and ask them if they are able to pass on any communication.
LawAndParents - 27-Mar-17 @ 12:32 PM
Please help my5 cousin was taken in to long term foster care about 5years ago and 2weeks ago their mum past away. None of her family gets to see the children only their father mother and the children dad. We would like some advice on where to start to get contact with the children i foster care. I want them to know even know they not going to see their mum any more they do have other family that care and love them. Please help
Donna - 25-Mar-17 @ 9:30 PM
My 6 children was put in to care by the court it been over 4 years and my oldest daughter is 14 she want to come back home and spend more time but she got no social worker and apart of the order made by the family courts what can I do to have more time with her as I want her home what can I do
Mandy - 24-Mar-17 @ 1:05 PM
Loren - Your Question:
5wks ago 3 girls taken I signed s20 but my eldest is 12 and refused she has remained with me all the time, I was to to attend all these programmes and have hair test done which I agreed to and still not 1 thing has changed, 4 and half hr supervised visits I have had I in 5 weeks, with3 visits from social work to my home and not once was eldest at home, how am I meant to get. Girls back I can Desperate pls help

Our Response:
Sorry we can't work out what's happened from your description. Could you try calling the Family Lives helpline on 0808 800 2222 or the Family Rights Group helpline 0808 801 0366
LawAndParents - 16-Mar-17 @ 10:50 AM
My daughter got took of me when she was 1 and half I've been through hell and back to have her back in my life.. Yeah I got pregnant when I was 16 had her when I was 17 couldn't change her for the world but right now I don't get to see her No letters.. there all like we keep family together? It's all lies I don't get support of anyone? Now I don't trust anyone coming into my life
Ruby-leigh - 16-Mar-17 @ 9:28 AM
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