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

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 18 Nov 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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Hi I was in care before with my son and did everything, managed to get my son off them. Moved away and started a new life with is dad. Ain't seen ss for 2 years!! And my uncle phoned police on my ex, now ss invoked and want to take me court to take my son!
Smiley - 18-Nov-17 @ 6:06 PM
Hi, I was in care before with my son, did anything, managed to get him off ss list, moved away, started a new life with the baby's father! Didn't see as for 2 years but now they showed up coz my uncle phoned police on my boyfriend/ex! And now they want to take me court to take my son as they think I can't keep him safe!!/what do I do
Smiley - 18-Nov-17 @ 6:03 PM
Can any 1 help me I have a 4 year old daughter that has been put into temp foster care I'm fighting to get her back I have left the farther and my other daughter has moved in with me I have contact with her twice a week I don't do drugs or drink I just had dv with her dad . I'm asking if she can come home for Xmas and spend it with me and her sister can this happen? The guardian doesn't no if she can support me in having my girl returned home to my care l.a don't want her back with me what can I do
Charlotte - 11-Nov-17 @ 1:26 PM
Hi hope this help they said i had alcohol misuse and mental health my children are placed with my dad got a new sw i showed them i dont alcohol misuse and saw a pychtrist there stating i have traits of bpd that means i could get it by law should they return my childre
Sarah19791 - 2-Nov-17 @ 1:06 AM
Confused - Your Question:
Hi I need some advice if possible.My son was taken into care age 3 his on a long term foster care order on the grounds of neglect. alcohol misuse and mental health issues. I wasn't in a state to look after him and his always been happy with his foster family. I've left it at that and haven't asked for him back as he was happy and settled. 6 years onHis now 10. I've moved local authorities and now I have a 3 year old and a 2 year old living with me was assessed by new LA when my 3year old was a baby due to other child being subject to a CO and case was closed 1 week before me 2 year old was born no involvement since. My son is now asking to come home. where do I stand with reunification? What will the assessments entail and where do my little ones stand if they fail me? Please help if possible

Our Response:
A social worker/support worker will be able to tell you this more accurately than we can. Or try the Family Lives helpline
LawAndParents - 30-Oct-17 @ 1:50 PM
Hi I need some advice if possible... My son was taken into care age 3 his on a long term foster care order on the grounds of neglect.. alcohol misuse and mental health issues.. I wasn't in a state to look after him and his always been happy with his foster family. I've left it at that and haven't asked for him back as he was happy and settled.. 6 years on His now 10. I've moved local authorities and now I have a 3 year old and a 2 year old living with me was assessed by new LA when my 3year old was a baby due to other child being subject to a CO and case was closed1 week before me 2 year old was born no involvement since... My son is now asking to come home.. where do I stand with reunification? What will the assessments entail and where do my little ones stand if they fail me? Please help if possible
Confused - 27-Oct-17 @ 10:44 PM
K - Your Question:
My stepdaughters 11 week old daughter has been taken by social services on an epo. The reasons behind this are to do with the babies father. My stepdaughter is the best mum in the world and has already signed a document to say she would never let him near her baby but 2 days later they come with no warning and removed our beautiful baby from her mother’s arms. Please can someone help us. They have kidnapped her baby and are holding her to ransom till the father hands himself in which is never gona happen as we have already told them he doesn’t care what can we do to get her back

Our Response:
Family lives helpline is a good place to start
LawAndParents - 25-Oct-17 @ 3:27 PM
My stepdaughters 11 week old daughter has been taken by social services on an epo. The reasons behind this are to do with the babies father. My stepdaughter is the best mum in the world and has already signed a document to say she would never let him near her baby but 2 days later they come with no warning and removed our beautiful baby from her mother’s arms. Please can someone help us. They have kidnapped her baby and are holding her to ransom till the father hands himself in which is never gona happen as we have already told them he doesn’t care what can we do to get her back
K - 23-Oct-17 @ 2:58 PM
I have two kids that is in foster care and I am needing some help I have leaning differently and that why they was tock off me is they anything I can do to get them back out off care
Sam - 19-Oct-17 @ 11:19 PM
I singed a agreement with social services on 11 of April its ran out on the 18 of April does that still stand or what happens then
Noodles - 15-Oct-17 @ 2:09 PM
I have wrongly put two boys in care and i personallywould like them to go back home tomorrow with there mummy
socialworker - 12-Oct-17 @ 8:50 PM
I'm on a full care order but I want to live with my nan but I live in a care home and my social worker said it's not Likely what can i do
Emi - 8-Oct-17 @ 11:36 AM
Hi I am seeking any advice you can give me. I have 2 children who live with my mother and her partner. Social services placed them in foster care 2015 my eldest aged 2 youngest 7 months due to my daughter having a bruise on her face. I was told by my mother my eldest had whacked youngest daughter with a doll and didn't think anything of it so didn't the fuss as it wasn't hurting her and my mother had never lied in the past. However when asked denied saying this despite me having witnesses who attended court. Soon after my children were placed in temporary foster care, whilst it was investigated, I was arrested on suspicion of assault as well as my partner. We were both NFA due to NO evidence against us. Social services then used my mental health against me as I suffer with depression and anxiety. I was pressurized to agree to allow my children to live with my mother in July 2016. I see my children 4 times a year and social services have said my contacts are positive. I have passed every drug/alcohol test they ever asked me to do. I have now found out I am four weeks pregnant with the same partner who was also accused of assault. I know it's still early but will social services be able to take my unborn baby off me or do they have to give me a chance?What can I do prove I am a good mother? That I am capable of looking after my children. I want to be able to enjoy pregnancy and not be in fear of imminent removal of unborn baby. I want to prove I am a good mother and get my children living home with me. They aren't on a special guardianship order yet just residing with my mother. I have many friends with children and a good support network. I work up to 16hrs a week. I am currently waiting to be moved into a new property due to alerting environmental health about the damp/mould problem at current address. What should I do? Any advice would be extremely grateful. I have described as thoroughly as I can in order for you to be able to assist me as best as you can.
Mel - 6-Oct-17 @ 3:49 AM
My 3 youngest girls have been in foster care since July 2016,all separate contact is once a week for 2 hours supervised, social work have said at a permanence planning meeting in April 2017 it has been agreed the girls will not return home,I have not heard or saw any legal documents in regards to this,I feel the situation has just came to a stand still, is this the normal procedure, x
Nicky - 4-Oct-17 @ 3:21 AM
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
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