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What can happen in care proceedings? 

If social services decide to start care proceedings in the court, there will be several hearings: Case Management and Issues Resolution to see if an agreement can be reached. 

If not, there will usually be a final hearing where long-term decisions are made about your child’s future, who they will live with and what court order is best.

What are the potential outcomes? 

  • There are several final orders that the court can make:
  • Care Order: your child stays in care until they are 18 unless the order is ended before then.
  • Supervision Order: your child will live with you, but Children’s Services will supervise the family.
  • Child Arrangements Order: your child will live with another person, such as a family member or friend, for as long as the order exists.  The order can also set out contact arrangements for your child.
  • Placement Order: Children’s Services have permission to place your child for adoption even if you do not agree.
  • Special Guardianship Order: your child will live with another person, such as a family member, but they will also have parental responsibility for your child, giving them all the rights, powers, duties and responsibilities that a parent has.

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