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

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 23 Jul 2022 | comments*Discuss
Parental Rights Family Law Law And


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)


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 two children have been taken into care since October, 2021 and have not been able to see them nor have contact with them for over 7 months, despite court order for me to have supervised contact with them. At present, both of my children are in separate placement and the older one of 12 years is not in school at the moment. All effort to have the social worker to arrange contac5 have proof abortive. Please, I need your help. Thanks.
Esther - 23-Jul-22 @ 4:18 PM
Hi my three daughterswas taking in the care by social worker the reason its I dont know why the social workertake my kids away from me we have hearing court but I didn'tget any answer why they take my kids. I'm single I was been placedto the hostelwith my three girlsby social worker and then they just take my kids away from me can you please help me with that and which right I have. Thanks
Klaudia - 13-Jul-22 @ 5:44 PM
Hi all my daughter has been taken into care from her mother I ent been with her mother for over 2 years I wald like to no have a father got right to remove my daughter from care if he on a birth certificate and with out singing any paper work for my daughter being in care
Lewis Towner - 26-Sep-21 @ 2:22 AM
How is the law on there side when they just take kids without evidence because they don’t like ourfamily through jealousy
PAFA - 12-Jul-21 @ 6:35 PM
My daughters made a allegations against me but has already said I didn’t do it. My daughters just needed some help she is adhd and her father let them be abused the social service won’t pay for the counciling they needed even thou I sort it set it up got 10 free sessions but she needed more my 14year old son was treated awfully put miles away treated like a criminal so he ran away and is saying he ain’t coming home till he can live with me again he’s been missing for 2weeks now is there an emergency order since my son is now at risk so he can come home I haven’t signed anything I no not too
Gina - 11-May-21 @ 5:26 PM
Do you help to fight people to get their child back from care
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What happensif the socialworkerbroke contactrule made by the judge 3 times what can I do
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Lucy megan Murphy-br - 26-Feb-21 @ 8:23 PM
Hi my name is Lucy I have learning disability and mild asd and allstic and dysctic and I feel like social services are discrimination to me and my partner Chris and bullying and undermining me and my partner they have tooken my other two children plus my new born baby who only 8 weeks old . Your sincerely from lucy
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So my grandchildren are on a care order of local authorities and their mother has done everything that was asked of her and more what care she do to get her children back into her care ?
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Ann Barclay - 27-Sep-20 @ 3:38 PM
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Billy - 26-Sep-20 @ 3:41 PM
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Bless - 18-Sep-20 @ 1:42 AM
If anyone needs advice speak to Gerry at Parenting Together, its a charity.
Tom - 11-Sep-20 @ 3:48 PM
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Jen - 1-Aug-20 @ 6:09 AM
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Snappa - 10-Jul-20 @ 1:58 AM
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Mama bear - 18-Jun-20 @ 5:00 PM
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Kel - 17-Jun-20 @ 10:17 AM
Hey my name is nicole stout my kids have been away in to temp foster care the social workers never show me paperwork and i never signed any so can they do that
coleybby24 - 13-Jun-20 @ 2:40 PM
Why do social workers what youre children? why they so much involved bcz of theyre pay rate, its horrible to hear stories makes me friightened. Some workers r nasty women, some are the nastiest they do lie just to get there ways, and they do mess up youre childrens lives.
samo - 13-Jun-20 @ 3:32 AM
Can anyone help. Divorced 2 years ago due to ex being gay and leading a very colourful double life including hardcore violent porn and exposing himself on internet. I didn’t have a clue it went on whole 6 year marriage. He was very controlling and emotionally abusive including isolating me, threatening suicide if we split and not letting me have any money. No interest in our 2 boys now 4 and 7. He currently has them just 1 weekend a month for 1 night and 1 evening for tea. This was an informal agreement, he has now found out I am due to have a baby in July so is going for 50/50 or residency. Will he get it? It is purely to continue to try and control/hurt me and no thought about best interests of the children. They don’t want to go anymore than they do and are so happy and settled. I know many people think 50/50 is the fair arrangement but it really, really isn’t in their best interests and I have numerous real concerns. He is narcissistic and will paint such a pure image of himself in court but behind closed doors he is a very different person. I have some very real concerns.
Desperate - 6-Jun-20 @ 9:42 PM
Iv had a long dealing with social workers since 2002 iv had my 6 children removed eldest child allowed home 3 in foster care and 2youngest adopted in 2005 then 2007 I had my youngest daughter born with heart condition 10 days old she had her first heart operation three months in hospital and court followed hospital advice and my daughter was allowed home with full care order was allowed in 2007 the judge said as long as I continue to provide my daughter the care I have showed that the care order would be revoked in 12 months now in 2008 I moved property I saw no social workers I only saw family worker on the 21st June 2012 my daughter was removed from my care my solicitor wrote a few times and I had a break down more to the case but over all points
bernie - 13-May-20 @ 4:35 PM
Hi my 3 girls wear taken from me long time a go thy live in Glasgow thy wear put in the social Services care and I never missed any contact and never missed any meeting now thy are grown up and I really missing them but social worker said thy don’t went talk to me I don’t know what to do I will do anything for them because I love them very much
Syeda - 9-May-20 @ 10:57 PM
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