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

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 25 Dec 2023 | 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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Hey my 2 children got removed from my care due to my daughter dad Been violent towards me and we have not been together since 2021 but the social service never believed me and got removed from my care this year in July the social service just took my back to court and the courts put a court order in place the social service never investigated at all have not been out to speak to me they just removed my children now since all this I have been seeing my children 3 days a week every week and it is all positive and I have had a parenting assessment done and that's all positive as well and I have not had any contact with my daughters dad he as moved out of bradford I have also seen the individual reviewing officer report and had meets and the local authority manager as said she don't have no safe grading issues on the report they is 3 points 1. To return home to me 2. To get placed with friends or family 3. Long term Foster care Now all I want to know is if I have got a good chance of getting my children back home with me (mother) where they belong
Max - 25-Dec-23 @ 1:21 AM
My son was taken into faster care for short time I will awlays love my son baby Leo It's is hurt me by not see my son
Lee - 7-Jul-23 @ 10:27 PM
please help as this time last year social services took me to court two of my children was under a court order my 13 year old was undera guardian ship order with her nan and my 5 year old was foster friends and family by my oldest daughter who is 21 i’ve now got my 13 year old back but haven’t been back to court how do i get my son back as we don’t even know who is social worker is as he have already had 7 this year i haven’t had any paperwork from court orders or didn’t sign anything my barrister sat in the room with social service and i was sat waiting ina different room on my own when i went in the court room my mothers pe ranting was used against me when asked for my file from courtsolicitor asked what i wanted it for
she - 30-Jun-23 @ 3:06 AM
My partners ex girlfriend who they had a child together with approx 3-4 years ago. She accused him of rape and he was remanded until luckily she admitted it was lies and he was released with charge. She was wth the next man at the time. She didn't want to look after child despite him saying he'd have her rather than go into care.dna tests confirmed he is father but she gave her up and he has no idea where she is or any information.Partly as the heartache is just too much and he doesn't want to be let down again.what can he do its an awful situation which he doesn't like talking about it. Pls help
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oliviastephen02 - 18-May-23 @ 10:01 AM
I had a beautiful girl my tianna had down syndrome I had a 4yr old son as well but being 21 at the time it was a total shock after I had her to learn she had downs but when my baby put her hand on my face I fell in love i was a single mother I went threw domestic violence with their dad and he was no help with the children i did not care I just got on with it but when my dad died I struggled i started to use classA because it blocked my feelings but when it started to be my priority It was time to stop I needed help but me asking for help social services was informed they never help they made it worse I made the biggest mistake and signed the papers only so my babies could have stability until I got better I thought they would be taken care off when was in foster care she ended up getting Pneumonia she went into a coma she nearly died but my babycame through but ended up with lung problems,I did get better I fell pregnant but at 6months I lost my son ended up homeless it might sound selfish I gave up I had no one but years past but until I got myself together I stayed away I always was gonna back for tia she was moved from the placement from the family I knew I went to social services I was told she was not on the system I went to the house no one answered I left messages no one got back I felt I had no part off my daughter lifeTianna died last year July social services never informed me until 5days before her funeral I had no part part no say she was in hospital for one weekend before she died I did not get to comfort my baby I did not get to say goodbye I don’t know who signed her death certificate I’m still her next of kin I met the Foster carer the first time at the funeral I ask her for the social worker details she said tianna no longer had a social worker as she turned 19 I really need to know if I had no rights to know anything what was happening with my child if they had no obligation to tell me she died,why did Tiana no longer has a social worker when she was a sick child with a disability,somethingI’ve contacted adults social services and was told I’ve got no rights to no anything as tianna was 19and needs to give consent..wow!Tianna would not know about consent is and she is no longer here I trusted these people thinking I was not good enough I made them allow me to feel I no rights to be involved, when with me all she would have is a snotty nose I was made to feel I could not take care of my daughter but dies under there care anyways I just need to know how to deal with this because something I don’t even know what is her cause of death on her death certificate and they definitely would of knew how to locate me
Rain - 14-Apr-23 @ 4:24 PM
Hiya I have 4 sons they been taking in to care 5 years ago I'm trying to get help with getting them back but I'm lost can u help me please
Mugoo - 27-Feb-23 @ 7:14 PM
All my children bar 1 have asd adha My son has been taking into foster care. All because his older brother and sister who don’t live with us has made up crazy allegations against my partner. Social care are running with it. My son has complex needs and has out bursts which is Does when overwhelmed. They’re trying to use this to say something is going on when it really isn’t school have backed me up but somehow there reports have just been getting out on back burner. The allegations have already been looked into over a year ago by another LA. We did work with previous LA and things was moving forward other then my son getting help for his complex needs and now all this. I truly don’t understand what is happening my son is a lovely little boy and is never made any alligations against me or my partner. I have 3 other children at home who are all confused and don’t understand why their brother has been taking away. They just think because he was a handful at school and didn’t want to go to school is the reason for him being taking away. Everytime they see LA they are all now worried they will just take them to. The older 2 at home have a advocate now and are asking a lot of questions. But unfortunately there not getting the answers they want which is now making them upset. My other children have only seen there brother once in 3months this is a intern order for all children but only taking one into care. This is all making me very unwell. I really feel sick everyday everytime I see my son all he says is mum I want to come home. And the worst thing is I am helpless I want to just make everything better but I can’t this is killing me. I have always done everything by the book. I have never been in any trouble with police. I have been a mum for 19years and never had any issues until now. I just needs some advice. Also on top of it I have LA giving my boy false hope they he may come home in March. But we all know this hearing isn’t to do with that so I am confused and concerned ??
Shaz - 1-Feb-23 @ 9:13 AM
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
Danny List - 28-Apr-21 @ 8:46 PM
What happensif the socialworkerbroke contactrule made by the judge 3 times what can I do
Dido - 18-Mar-21 @ 10:34 PM
Also I have been bullied all my life and I'm 27 years old and I'm still having people starting on me like social services how do me and partner get back are son with us and me and my partner is really heart broken and would like help to get are son back with us who can help us and give us advice. Your sincerely from lucy
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
Lucy megan Murphy-br - 26-Feb-21 @ 8:14 PM
My daughter been taken into care under false information from social worker how do I get my child back I am scared of further lies been made or false info to courts how long until I get her back. They hav free also failed at the two contacts they put in place to see her on FaceTime which didn’t happen??
Susan - 23-Jan-21 @ 12:46 PM
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 ?
Spoony - 19-Jan-21 @ 12:54 PM
A child has been taken into care and I have been contacted by social service to take a dna test to see if I am the child’s father.. if I am the child’s father what Rights do I have to fight for the child. Will I have to go to court etc?
Reece - 8-Jan-21 @ 10:58 PM
Hello I need help my partner in treating whit social services because his name in not on the birth certificate what should I do I'm getting worried an I'm bipolar can my children be removed from me
Elizabeth - 11-Oct-20 @ 6:56 PM
Hello I need help my partner in treating whit social services because his name in not on the birth certificate what should I do
Elizabeth - 11-Oct-20 @ 6:54 PM
Hi social taken my son into foster care off the mum and not pushing for my DNA test to prove he's mine and social worker was rude when I spoke to her
Liam 93 - 6-Oct-20 @ 11:27 PM
I am pregnant with my second child and have social sevices involved they are trying to make me sign a section 20 but am not as that mean they remove at birth
Tezza - 2-Oct-20 @ 3:40 PM
Can my sister take himbecause if we need to go through all the visiting and over night stays if we change it for my other sister 'it's a long process so if I let it go through with my sister who has done and passed all checks then my other sister who has no children and a extra room takes him will it be better for him to be in our family then for my sister to take him because of family changes 'we lost our mum just their so social work send they are wanting the over night stays to begin but I've asked my sister to not to tell social work of the changes in her life to go ahead with kindership then when hes in our family then my other sister who has no kids takes him rather 'would that be allowed
Ann Barclay - 27-Sep-20 @ 3:55 PM
My son was taken into temporary care because I wasent sending to school cos I knew he needed a special school since primary he wasent in a class room sat in a room 'he would pass out and hit you for no reason but it's gone on a year and over hes not back my sister passed for kindership over 6 mouths ago she has been allowed over night stays but with this corna 19 its holding things up since then my sister had to deal with the death of my mother and her daughter having a child so if my sister takes him could she then give my older sister him cos she has no kids and a house with extra room and works never been in trouble in her life
Ann Barclay - 27-Sep-20 @ 3:38 PM
My friend has a daughter who is in care but living with her father, (my friend's ex) Up until lockdown my friend had supervised contact twice monthly for three hours a session and it was going very well. This had been going on since July 2017. My friend kept trying to get community contact and improve on what she had. Children's services would not change the contact, saying she raised concerns about her daughter and asked for too much information which undermined father's position as "primary" carer. When lockdown came in contact was changed from face to face to video contact but reduced from three hours to thirty minutes and an email every other week. After only three video contacts Children's services reduced contact to thirty minutes every month, a big reduction1 The grounds they used were that my friend's emails to her daughter upset her and again the content of the emails undermined father's role as carer even though they edited the emails before sending to fathers computer,and they also claimed that my friend's daughter was not even reading the emails! What can my friend do to combat such illogical behaviour from Children's services?
Billy - 26-Sep-20 @ 3:41 PM
Hi my son was taken out my custody and put into my at the time partners care who quickly became my ex I was granted monthly visits to start with and build up from there but what I wasn’t aware of my ex was seeing the social worker who took my boy he was spoilt in my care he had everything but they said I couldn’t look after him as I suffer depression n had a nervous brake down I was accused of neglect,physical abuse mental abuse and wasn’t allowed to see him at all at first then at court due to being in the middle of a brake down I wasn’t in sound mind so I didn’t get a solicitor I just stood there I couldn’t get my words out I was awarded a monthly contact with my ex partner supervising my contact the visits only happened about a dozen times now I still suffer mental health n severe depression depression it’s also effected my both sons I have also but there not at risk it was just the baby they took once I found out of the social worker n my ex having an affair I took it to the social services and was told I’m not normal I talk to dogs that’s best suited to me and that I’m making it all up n lying I printed all evidence out that I had and still faced with don’t lie so much and try be normal the social services worker quoted her job soon after n now she’s a class room assistant it kills me everyday
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
My daughter had a little girl and unknowing to me she had been caught 5 times with drugs in her system.so when her due date came she came out of hospital with no baby. She told us she was sick then she had a break down and told us social services while pregnant said she had to sign temporary custody to them untill she sorts herself out.its been 3 month now and my granddaughter is still not with her family I need to know if I have rights as a grandma to get my granddaughter back or is it to late
Jen - 1-Aug-20 @ 6:09 AM
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