Social Services FAQ


Here you will find the answers to many frequently asked questions relating to care matters and Social Services.

What type of court orders can be made regarding children?

A Supervision Order is where a child is placed under the supervision of the Local Authority, but this does not give it parental responsibility. The child is not taken into care and remains with the parents, with the local authority being legally obliged to offer support and assistance to the child and his/her family.

What are interim care orders?

This is a temporary care order which gives social services parental responsibility for a child, which they then share with the parents. It means that social services can decide where a child will live while the court proceedings are continuing.

What happens if we cannot agree with whom the children should live?

The focus should always be on what is in the best interests for the children. If this cannot be agreed, the court can decide for you, but will encourage you to attend mediation first.

What are my rights to see the children?

Contact rights are generally the right of the children and not the parent. Provided that there is not a risk of harm to the children, contact will be ordered by the Court. It is best to negotiate contact arrangements by direct discussions or by attending mediation to agree on the way forward. If you cannot agree, an application can be made to the Court, providing that you have attended a MIAM (Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting).