Home > Ask Our Experts > My Children Have Been Taken Into Care - What Are my Legal Rights?

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

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 25 May 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.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
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
Nc - Your Question:
Cut a long story short, my grandson was put into the care of his other granny, after a year social put him with a foster family as the granny failed her health assessment, we were never considered to take him, the foster care is temporary so can me & my husband apply for custody to keep the child in the family, cause he is wanted by family, or would it be too late

Our Response:
Keeping a child within the family is often the preferred option for a child. Are social services in touch with you, or even aware that you want to take your grandson into your care? Make contact with them first. If that's unsuccessful, you could apply to the courts for guardianship.
LawAndParents - 14-Mar-17 @ 11:32 AM
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 backI can Desperate pls help
Loren - 14-Mar-17 @ 3:48 AM
Cut a long story short, my grandson was put into the care of his other granny, after a year social put him with a foster family as the granny failed her health assessment, we were never considered to take him, the foster care is temporary so can me & my husband apply for custody to keep the child in the family, cause he is wanted by family, or would it be too late
Nc - 11-Mar-17 @ 8:18 PM
Hi,thank you for your reply.I wanted some advice on this,my sister and her husband had an SGO for my two young sons last April but just after two weeks returned them back to the local atthoritys care and back to the old foster carer as her young son was not coping with the change.Now my sister and her husband want my the SGO back is that possible?In November 25th last yearsocial services won to keep my two young sons who are aged 4 and 7 and I tried for an appeal but on the 17thFeb I didn't get a chance.Is there any way of my sons being able to return to the care and what would they have to do?Thank you so much for your help.
Krissy - 6-Mar-17 @ 12:31 AM
Krissy - Your Question:
HELP!I lost my appeal last Friday to stop my two sons going into foster care.One is aged 4 the other 7.All my five children were taken in June 2015.I have three girls and two boys.My eldest daughter has Cerebral Palsy and Hydrochalus.After a long fight I got first my two youngest daughters last April 2016 then my eldest in August 2015.I have done everything and more but social services gave me no chance and in done nothing wrong to begin with just ask for their help when I needed some now this is what's happened.I get six times a year so far once last week for just an hour and a half how can they do this.There must be something else I can do.I am not rich on benefits this would not be happening if I had loads of money but I haven't and they are distroying my little babies lives forever all my boys want is their Mummy I don't know how they all sleep at night.All my five children were and been abused in foster care and it has to stop for all these poor children's sake not just mine.Its because of what they do poor Baby P and Victoria Columbia suffer and do millions it's heartbreaking and sickening.Please help there must be something I can do I can't lose my sons for ever it's breaking my heart.Any one

Our Response:
There are several support organisations that may be able to help or advise you individually (they each have a free support line):
Keeping Families Together
Family Rights Group
Family Lives
LawAndParents - 24-Feb-17 @ 11:16 AM
HELP!I lost my appeal last Friday to stop my two sons going into foster care.One is aged 4 the other 7.All my five children were taken in June 2015.I have three girls and two boys.My eldest daughter has Cerebral Palsy and Hydrochalus.After a long fight I got first my two youngest daughters last April 2016 then my eldest in August 2015.I have done everything and more but social services gave me no chance and in done nothing wrong to begin with just ask for their help when I needed some now this is what's happened.I get six times a year so far once last week for just an hour and a half how can they do this.There must be something else I can do.I am not rich on benefits this would not be happening if I had loads of money but I haven't and they are distroying my little babies lives forever all my boys want is their Mummy I don't know how they all sleep at night.All my five children were and been abused in foster care and it has to stop for all these poor children's sake not just mine.Its because of what they do poor Baby P and Victoria Columbia suffer and do millions it's heartbreaking and sickening.Please help there must be something I can do I can't lose my sons for ever it's breaking my heart.Any one
Krissy - 21-Feb-17 @ 5:32 PM
Hi am the Aunty of to beautiful girl they have been taking into foster care for now not that there mum is bad from other people they have been there for a week had one bath they smell theyy were dairty when we saw them they haven't been out the foster people showt all the time they said they had a little dog when they got 5 my girls unhappy they were late bringing them to us so we only hat 30 mines with them little one had her nite were on under coat every time we get in touch with her worker she's off all on holiday this is wrong were do we go from here x
shelly - 20-Feb-17 @ 7:19 PM
My son has just turned 13. And is in a long term forster placement. He's been there 5 years now. At are last contact he said to me when her turns 13 that we could swap phone numbers and that he could have a Facebook account and add me on to this. Is this ture could I have my son's phone number now he's 13. Would love if someone could help me to understand thing that could happen now he's 13. Just I don't no if he is just saying this.
Tasha - 17-Feb-17 @ 11:14 AM
Uniuquebeauty89 - Your Question:
My son who is 9 years old was taken into foster care a year ago in December I was asked to get my own property with my long term partner and to have Councelling I have done these and not had anything back from my sons social worker.I don't know what elce I can do please help?

Our Response:
Don't wait to hear from them. Contact them and let them know about the changes you have made. Seek advice/help from a support organisation like Family Lives.
LawAndParents - 20-Jan-17 @ 2:38 PM
My son who is 9 years old was taken into foster care a year ago in December I was asked to get my own property with my long term partner and to have Councelling I have done these and not had anything back from my sons social worker. I don't know what elce I can do please help?
Uniuquebeauty89 - 19-Jan-17 @ 4:42 PM
Social services so far have done a lot wrong to us families.With me they took my nanny into a nursing home and she was dying when her wish was to die at home withmy uncles with her. Then they took my older son put him into mental hospitals where staff nearly killed him. Then my daughter got raped fell pregnant and social worker took her first born child from home then stressed my step dad out which he died a week later.Then social worker took my daughter again because she had another baby and same again wrongly adopted out . Then now they have took my youngest son now who is getting picked on at the school and with foster carers bullying him as well as the school and he asks to go home to us. And the judges at theipswich court decided to keep on social services side and not familyside.
Goodgirl - 6-Jan-17 @ 5:45 AM
Hi social services saw a bruise on my son a few weeks ago and they kept him in hospital for nearly a week doing a child protection medical ( we've had social since I was pregnant due to my age and recently got my son off the CP register ) they had a legal meeting shortly after and decided they wanted my and Cody to go into temporary foster care so we did , I then had an 8 week parenting assessment with my partner and they've now had their second legal meeting and are deciding to take us to court to get him put into care , their concerns are mine and my partners relationship ( were too dependant on each other ) the attention given to my son , the emotional bond between us all and my partners mental health , what are the chances if I fight against their decision? And how likely is it that my son could return home with me?
Monique - 29-Nov-16 @ 10:28 PM
lucy - Your Question:
I'm 21 years old and have a partner that is 29 years old. His kids are in care I was just wondering if it would make a difference with him getting them back knowing he had the support of me now but knowing I'm only 21 I don't know how the law stands as his eldest is 11??

Our Response:
Acourt would make a decision based on the all the facts. There are no specific laws relating to age etc.
LawAndParents - 25-Nov-16 @ 12:08 PM
I'm 21 years old and have a partner that is 29 years old. His kids are in care i was just wondering if it would make a difference with him getting them back knowing he had the support of me now but knowing i'm only 21 i don't know how the law stands as his eldest is 11??
lucy - 24-Nov-16 @ 9:31 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the LawAndParents website. Please read our Disclaimer.