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

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 17 Sep 2018 | 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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My baby's. - Your Question:
My children was made subject to a care order in may 2018. Me and dad are devastated as you can imagine. It started as lack of appointments and bad routine as my second son was born with a blocked airway. which was missed at birth and led to him having a tracheostomy at 3 months. We was blamed by the NHS and social services for this. Even though we took the right routes and was ignored until it was to late! However the backlash from this made it impossible to move on and led me and dad into quite a rubbish place. We was hounded by social care whilst trying to look after our son and our disabled baby. bugged at daft o clock in the morning. told how to look after him when they their selves wouldn't have had a clue if they was put in that situation. And given awful advice. As the saying goes 'too many cooks' my sons and me and dad are desperate to so anything in our power to get them home. We just have no idea where to start. We have tried to speak to the local authority who are adiment on finding a family. Any advice would be massively apriciated

Our Response:
You could try the family rights group
LawAndParents - 18-Sep-18 @ 2:28 PM
My children was made subject to a care order in may 2018. Me and dad are devastated as you can imagine. It started as lack of appointments and bad routine as my second son was born with a blocked airway.. which was missed at birth and led to him having a tracheostomy at 3 months. We was blamed by the NHS and social services for this. Even though we took the right routes and was ignored until it was to late! However the backlash from this made it impossible to move on and led me and dad into quite a rubbish place. We was hounded by social care whilst trying to look after our son and our disabled baby.. bugged at daft o clock in the morning .. told how to look after him when they their selves wouldn't have had a clue if they was put in that situation. And given awful advice. As the saying goes 'too many cooks' my sons and me and dad are desperate to so anything in our power to get them home. We just have no idea where to start. We have tried to speak to the local authority who are adiment on finding a family. Any advice would be massively apriciated
My baby's. - 17-Sep-18 @ 4:39 AM
Hi my kids went in jan 12 18 and I wonderinghow to get them bk can some one tellme there on care order
Sara - 3-Sep-18 @ 9:30 PM
I have had my grandchild living with me from birth for the last 5mths up until yesterday when social services took her away from how family home leave us all in bit this most be wrong any advice out there for me please
Nic39 - 7-Aug-18 @ 4:39 PM
Hi my kids have gone to foster care on the 12 January and I just want them home but they say I have leaning disability and low iq61 and high neglect and lack of appointment s to am really so stressed with out them it getting me down and need to no more how to get them bk quick way
Bitch - 6-Aug-18 @ 10:37 PM
Ctree- Your Question:
I left an abusive relationship with my four children. The following year my new boyfriend relapsed and hit me, he plead guilty as he was disgusted with himself and was remanded to prison for months until given his suspended sentence and probation. I was still going through court proceedings with my exhusband and under incredible amounts of stress I went into premature labour and had to hold my little girl for the short hours she lived as the hospital would not give her oxygen. I broke down completely. I had been begging social services for help and they were useless, as my partner and I were grieving the loss of our little girl together my children were removed 4days following the funeral. I had been a full time mum for over 11yrs, my daughters were my life and my health plummeted from the depression that came with losing them. I had agreed for them to go under special guardianship of their grandparents but as crown court is perusing a charge of coercive control against their son which I am supporting they will not even allow me to speak to them on the phone and social services is only giving me contact once a month. My girls don’t understand why and beg to see me more and it breaks my heart. I don’t know what to do. My exhusband now has unlimited contact with them as they are with his parents and I don’t want anyone else taken from them but I don’t want to lose my children. When I asked why I could only see them once a month I was told this was because they miss me too much and it is hard on them when they see me and can’t come home, surely this means I should see them more and not less. Please advise me in any way possible. I feel as if my vital organs have been ripped away. My children were my life and every day without them my heart breaks. Two of them are disabled, one high functioning and the other low functioning, tremendous amounts of support has been put in place for them while I had none. If I had been abusive, if I was some kind of addict or if I had just been a horrible mother I could understand but I had the happiest children that I put everything into so I just can’t accept this. We kept chickens, we grew our own fruit and veg, went to the theatre, camped, I volunteered at school and playgroups, I was who everyone considered the model mum so none of my friends can wrap their heads around it either.

Our Response:
It might be worth talking to an organisation that can offer you individual support such as Family Lives or Family Rights Group
LawAndParents - 6-Aug-18 @ 2:36 PM
I left an abusive relationship with my four children. The following year my new boyfriend relapsed and hit me, he plead guilty as he was disgusted with himself and was remanded to prison for months until given his suspended sentence and probation. I was still going through court proceedings with my exhusband and under incredible amounts of stress I went into premature labour and had to hold my little girl for the short hours she lived as the hospital would not give her oxygen. I broke down completely. I had been begging social services for help and they were useless, as my partner and I were grieving the loss of our little girl together my children were removed 4days following the funeral. I had been a full time mum for over 11yrs, my daughters were my life and my health plummeted from the depression that came with losing them. I had agreed for them to go under special guardianship of their grandparents but as crown court is perusing a charge of coercive control against their son which I am supporting they will not even allow me to speak to them on the phone and social services is only giving me contact once a month. My girls don’t understand why and beg to see me more and it breaks my heart. I don’t know what to do. My exhusband now has unlimited contact with them as they are with his parents and I don’t want anyone else taken from them but I don’t want to lose my children. When I asked why I could only see them once a month I was told this was because they miss me too much and it is hard on them when they see me and can’t come home, surely this means I should see them more and not less. Please advise me in any way possible. I feel as if my vital organs have been ripped away. My children were my life and every day without them my heart breaks. Two of them are disabled, one high functioning and the other low functioning, tremendous amounts of support has been put in place for them while I had none. If I had been abusive, if I was some kind of addict or if I had just been a horrible mother I could understand but I had the happiest children that I put everything into so I just can’t accept this. We kept chickens, we grew our own fruit and veg, went to the theatre, camped, I volunteered at school and playgroups, I was who everyone considered the model mum so none of my friends can wrap their heads around it either.
Ctree - 4-Aug-18 @ 3:19 PM
My son was care order placement with parents.everything was good I was getting good reports on my parenting we was waitron for court date for care order to end. But 2 weeks before xmas my sister went of rails an social worker asks me if ide look after em till holidays finished. January came. Next thing there social worker came to visit asks me in front of the kids can they stay with me I couldn't believe it I really wanted to say no. But how could I. The family stops talking to em coz they moved in with there mum there dad didn't talk to em there mum rejected em 2 weeks for xmas there big brown eyes lookin at me to help em so sadly I said yes in front of them they had problems they'd made lot allegations bout brother father my sister partner so I asked social worker to say I wasn't allowed to have them. Coz my son was care order she promised me my son would b okay. Sadly the eldest made serious allegations bout me although I did mess up that night I took drugs but still that's dose not mean I was guilty of what I'd bin accused of anyway police came took girls away including my son I was treated guilty straight away I don't no what happened to innocent till proven guilty anyway my social worker said to me sign contact saying I'll stay away from my family home till police finished there investigation I didn't want to sign it straight away but she made me think if I don't sign my son wid stay foster care if I sign now my son can come home now stay with his dad she said she'd have him home weekend this did not happen she also said in front of witnesses they'd help me get some were else to live she did not so I lost my son my home my partner in 1 night also police took to long 18 months it took to prove I was innocent what gets me the fact she made me holmeless with no were to go no help now they taken my child from his dad he's been getting good reports he gets new social worker new managers she never came every month like she was suppose to gave him no support just takes my child from him now they satin I can see him once month obviously I started taken drugs again after all this ide like to no can I get my son back I've started to get clean I'm in process of getting property I have meetin with her to do risk assessment but ide like sum advice on what I can do to get my son
Kat - 17-Jul-18 @ 10:42 PM
Bella - Your Question:
I am a grandparent, and recently discovered that my 5 year old grandson was taken into care last December. My daughter whos is his mother had estranged her self from the family and would not let anyone see the child and had no contact with us. I called social services to see if I could get contact, I am still waiting to hear. They have apparently got in touch with her to tell her that I contacted them. And she is now causing problems with the rest of the family trying to find out who told me. Is there any way that I can have contact with the child or do they need her permission as she has apparently given up parental rights.

Our Response:
If your daughter has given up her parental responsibility rights for your grandson, it may be that you can make an application for legal guardianship, presuming you had regular contact with him before the estrangement. Children's services should be able to support you as it's usually peferable for a child to stay within the family than be taken into care.
LawAndParents - 29-Jun-18 @ 2:17 PM
I am a grandparent, and recently discovered that my 5 year old grandson was taken into care last December. My daughter whos is his mother had estranged her self from the family and would not let anyone see the child and had no contact with us. I called social services to see if I could get contact, I am still waiting to hear.They have apparently got in touch with her to tell her that I contacted them.And she is nowcausing problems with the rest of the family trying to find out who told me.Is there any way that I can have contact with the child or do they need her permission as she has apparently given up parental rights.
Bella - 27-Jun-18 @ 7:14 PM
CrystalWillow- Your Question:
My 3 children - 2,3 & 4 - were taken from me after my violent and controlling ex partner gave him a severe black eye and swollen cheek. I was worried about it and took him to hospital for a check up. They called the police and social services and they were removed "until I had sorted myself out after filing a complaint against him. Now I have been told that, even though the police investigation is ongoing, they are taking it to court to see which parent or adult guardian could foster them or if they are to be put up for adoption. can they do this and how do I go about getting them back? I love my children and want them back and I am working hard to get straight, arranging councilling to help me with the mental issues caused by my ex. I am capable of caring for them and desperate to get them back.

Our Response:Try contacting a legal advisor, Citizens' Advice will be able to help you fine one. There is also lots of advice and a helpline at the
Family Rights Group
LawAndParents - 26-Jun-18 @ 1:54 PM
My 3 children - 2,3 & 4 - were taken from me after my violent and controlling ex partner gave him a severe black eye and swollen cheek.I was worried about it and took him to hospital for a check up.They called the police and social services and they were removed "until I had sorted myself out after filing a complaint against him. Now I have been told that, even though the police investigation is ongoing, they are taking it to court to see which parent or adult guardian could foster them or if they are to be put up for adoption.can they do this and how do I go about getting them back? I love my children and want them back and I am working hard to get straight, arranging councilling to help me with the mental issues caused by my ex.I am capable of caring for them and desperate to get them back.
CrystalWillow - 25-Jun-18 @ 4:48 PM
my ex’s parents have my child and are refusing visitation even though is been granted what can i do legally? What are my rights? Can I bring this up at my final hearing? Can she get into trouble for this? I have proof of his mum telling me I can’t see my daughter also she was not going to let him see her unless he quit his job I also have proof of that aswell. I have my final hearing next month we’re on an interim care order and my solicitor doesn’t seem to be helping with anything at all I feel like I’m doing this on my own I need some advice!!!
Stano - 2-Jun-18 @ 3:15 PM
My stepdaughter is 18 in 3 months, she is currently living in supported lodgings with her previous foster carer. The social worker will only allow her to stay with me once a fortnight and I feel this is really affecting her wellbeing, they won’t give me a good reason why she can’t stay more regularly, she wants to live with me when she’s 18 and that has been agreed. I work for the local Authority so have had all the necessary checks done, can anyone advise me on this please? It doesn’t make sense to me at all!!
Davina123 - 30-May-18 @ 11:46 PM
Desperate- Your Question:
Mt children are in Foster care, I'm in and out of court fighting for them but now I've had my money stopped as they left 6 weeks ago and I'm about to loose my house as I can't afford the rent. A 1 bed is the same price as my house but the min I loose my house social services will say the kids can't come bk as I've hot no where to house them. Helppp

Our Response:
You could try the Family Lives Helpline for some advice. Are your children school age? Your Job Centre might be able to find some work for you that you could fit in around looking after them so it's worth asking there too.
LawAndParents - 29-May-18 @ 2:58 PM
Mt children are in Foster care, I'm in and out of court fighting for them but now I've had my money stopped as they left 6 weeks ago and I'm about to loose my house as I can't afford the rent. A 1 bed is the same price as my house but the min I loose my house social services will say the kids can't come bk as I've hot no where to house them. Helppp
Desperate - 28-May-18 @ 4:26 PM
kez - Your Question:
Hi I'm after advice I got my son back 3 yrs ago. in February this year the local authority were going to discharge the case from a care order to a child in need order. because of the way the old social worker wrote the statement that never happened. which in turn had an impact on my mental health. the past few weeks my son's behaviour has been quite bad. I had an iro meeting a week ago and asked for help with my son like restbite but the social services haven't helped at all. on Wednesday I went to collect my son from school and told the teacher how I was feeling and why I cut myself which I've only done twice. and that I needed a break from my son. they rang social services now my son is in foster care. I've not signed anything and have been kept in the dark with what's going on. I want my little boy and I never intended this to happen I k ow he is hard work but I can and I'm more than capable of looking after him. all I wanted at the time was help and no one listened

Our Response:
You should seek support for an outside organisation like the Family Rights Group. Do not try and tackle this alone. Citizens Advice might also be able to help.
LawAndParents - 15-May-18 @ 11:43 AM
hi I'm after advice I got my son back 3 yrs ago. in February this year the local authority were going to discharge the case from a care order to a child in need order. because of the way the old social worker wrote the statement that never happened. which in turn had an impact on my mental health. the past few weeks my son's behaviour has been quite bad. I had an iro meeting a week ago and asked for help with my son like restbite but the social services haven't helped at all. on Wednesday I went to collect my son from school and told the teacher how I was feeling and why I cut myself which I've only done twice. and that I needed a break from my son. they rang social services now my son is in foster care. I've not signed anything and have been kept in the dark with what's going on. I want my little boy and I never intended this to happen I k ow he is hard work but I can and I'm more than capable of looking after him. all I wanted at the time was help and no one listened
kez - 11-May-18 @ 1:32 PM
Crissy - Your Question:
Hi I would like some advice as to what I need to do. last year my daughter was removed from my care because I protected myself against a man who made me feel uneasy. Her dad removed her whilst I was in the police station. I got released, no caution. As I went home to collect my child she wasnt there. Social services dont have a problem with the dad. I was with him 2 years ago and he was so violent and controlling it was unreal. So I left and got into anther relationship where it was bad and thats where he intervened. Whilst he has had her he has gone to jail for frued, so he left her with his mum. I have changed my life around, im doing well. Social let me.see her once every two weeks for a hour n half. He gets released next month. Social havent made a decision as to where she will be going. What would you guys do?? Thanks

Our Response:
We can't really give advice on this - social workers and the courts should have all the background information they need in order to make a decision in the best interests of your daughter.
LawAndParents - 11-May-18 @ 11:17 AM
Hi I would like some advice as to what I need to do... last year my daughter was removed from my care because I protected myself against a man who made me feel uneasy. Her dad removed her whilst i was in the police station. I got released, no caution. As i went home to collect my child she wasnt there. Social services dont have a problem with the dad.. i was with him 2 years ago and he was so violent and controlling it was unreal. So i left and got into anther relationship where it was bad and thats where he intervened. Whilst he has had her he has gone to jail for frued, so he left her with his mum. I have changed my life around, im doing well. Social let me.see her once every two weeks for a hour n half. He gets released next month. Social havent made a decision as to where she will be going.What would you guys do?? Thanks
Crissy - 9-May-18 @ 6:38 PM
We are investigating Newham Social Services. The have cases of acute mental health that are now 15 - 20 years old. The use organisations that provide adult social care but receive excessive contributions e.g. £1000+ per week for each resident. The also highly restrict benefits for those rendered alcohol or drug dependent - in some cases to as little as £5 per day. Contact me for further information - others may contact you to repudiate this. Thank you.
Pete - 9-May-18 @ 6:14 AM
Hi how do you get a Judge Recuse due to her being Bias and I know she is not being fair and this ruin my out come in 21st May.I went back to court to ask for more time with my two young sons who were made subject to a care order last November and the social services only give us an hour and half every two months which is disgusting I also have three of their sisters who reside with me but we're also taken in June 2015 but I got my three older girls in April and August 2016 after a long fight.They haven't seen their brothers since December.Social services refuse me Mother day call birthday calls for siblings.Every time they refuse my sons can't see cousins aunts uncle great granny no one.And I have done nothing wrong and I am trying so hard to work with them but they are making it impossible.Now this Judge is the same one that made the order last November and is being really difficult so far and had said stuff she shouldn't say.I went back in October last year just for extra time and it's still going ,now I have to go on the stand again and they are trying to change everything including cutting our time to 4times a year and the venue where our contacts used to be even though my sons have always asked for mor time and to us more and their sisters too but they dont care.I know the Judge will go with what ever they she has so far since she took the case because she knew who I was so I feel I will never win this Judge but what can I do before it's too late.Any advise would be helpful.Thank you
Krissy05 - 19-Apr-18 @ 2:13 PM
Simple - Your Question:
My daughter was taken away by cps and put with my father and stepmother, because of some exhaustion and stress I needed to go to a first level simply put just locked unit which was embarrassing as ever! Im working on getting her back I see her once a week, I have ti find a plave to live keep a job go to counceling, and the biggest thing g keep a clean house!! I dont feel loke cps needed to be involved simoly out she could have stayed with my dad if tgey spoke to me till I got on my feet, but at least im still going to get her back im hoping by.july at the latest!! Any hope or siggestions or questions she is 2 years old just turned, I have no other kids , the only.thing is they have more money and bigger house and she goes to a bigger nocer daycare which makes me nervous for how my case looks vs. Them even though they can. NOTt adopt her

Our Response:
You could try contacting the Family Rights Group for more help on this, or Become - the charity
LawAndParents - 4-Apr-18 @ 3:29 PM
My daughter was taken away by cps and put with my father and stepmother, because of some exhaustion and stress i needed to go to a first level simply put just locked unit which was embarrassing as ever! Im working on getting her back i see her once a week, i have ti find a plave to live keep a job go to counceling, and the biggest thing g keep a clean house!! I dont feel loke cps needed to be involved simoly out she could have stayed with my dad if tgey spoke to me till i got on my feet, but at least im still going to get her back im hoping by.july at the latest!! Any hope or siggestions or questions she is 2 years old just turned, i have no other kids , the only.thing is they have more money and bigger house and she goes to a bigger nocer daycare which makes me nervous for how my case looks vs. Them even though they can. NOTt adopt her
Simple - 2-Apr-18 @ 5:50 PM
HI my child was removed in November 2016 due to dv and drugs and alcohol abuse...I've just had a new baby who was born on the 11th February my final. Hearing for my oldest is in April and I'm worried she might not be returned home because the gurdian says it's too small can the courts not return her due to the size of my accommodation?
Jr18 - 24-Mar-18 @ 8:25 PM
Hi my son was taken from me yesterday where CPT stayed he had bruises on him and that he had been egregious abused, I don’t know what to do, he is now in foster care and I want to know what I need to do to get him back ASAP!!! He was taken from me in school I made the mistake of disciplining him to hard!! I rarely ever spank him and I did not know that an extension cord would do that, when my brother was growing up that’s what I seen my dad spank him with because he would not listen, I did not know that I would’ve hurt my son like that, I don’t know what to do, but I’m willing to do everything in my power to get him back please help me
I Need My Son - 23-Mar-18 @ 1:09 PM
My kids were taken off me because social believed I hurt my youngest. I was arrested but never charged. Would I be able to get my kids back
Key88 - 21-Mar-18 @ 11:17 PM
N/a - Your Question:
My 4 and 1 year old have been in foster care since September I've completed everything they have asked of me never fail a drug test and I still am only getting a once a week visit that last from 2-3:30 I haven't been getting any response or help from my caseworker and she is so rude to me even when I ask the most simple but important to me things regarding my children and my case. what options do I have please I'm at a loss for the future of my family

Our Response:
See if you can find someone else to support your case, are there any organisations like homestart etc in your area who can help? You could try calling the Family Rights group helpline for more information.
LawAndParents - 19-Mar-18 @ 12:04 PM
My 4 and 1 year old have been in foster care since September I've completed everything they have asked of me never fail a drug test and I still am only getting a once a week visit that last from 2-3:30 I haven't been getting any response or help from my caseworker and she is so rude to me even when I ask the most simple but important to me things regarding my children and my case . what options do I have please I'm at a loss for the future of my family
N/a - 17-Mar-18 @ 7:28 AM
Shell - Your Question:
Hi my name is michelle and I have two children in full time foster and I’m trying to get access to see them because I got done for neglect because I suffered really bad depression and ended up getting mental health and 2 years ago I ended up having another baby who I won social services where I live and I have tried for 2 years to get access for me and my boy to see is siblings but the social services in Stockport are staying im a danger to my other children and they supposed to have made a sexual allegation against me with the police and they came back with no evidence and I don’t know what to do and need some advice thank you from Michelle

Our Response:
It might be worth seeking help from a third party like Family Rights Group... their phone line number is 0808 801 0366
LawAndParents - 16-Mar-18 @ 2:37 PM
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