Care orders and supervision orders
Produced in partnership with Claire Cousin
Care orders and supervision orders

The following Local Government guidance note Produced in partnership with Claire Cousin provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Care orders and supervision orders
  • Care orders
  • Supervision orders
  • What options does the court have once care proceedings have been started?
  • Key differences between a care order and a supervision order

Care orders

What is a care order and what is its purpose?

A care order is an order granted by the family court which allows a designated local authority to share parental responsibility for a child with any other holders of parental responsibility (although it should be noted that if the holder has parental responsibility by virtue of a child arrangements order only, a care order will discharge the child arrangements order and the parental responsibility as a result).

The purpose of a care order is to allow a local authority to share parental responsibility for a child with their parents to safeguard and promote their health and welfare.

Who can apply for a care order?

The following can apply for a care order:

  1. a local authority, or

  2. an authorised person

An authorised person is:

  1. the NSPCC (or any of its officers), and

  2. any officer of any body or any person that has been authorised by the Secretary of State

Who can be the subject of a care order?

Any child can be the subject of a care order providing they are under the age of 17 (or 16 if the child is married).

No application for a care order may be made in respect of an unborn child.

What are the grounds for a care order to be made?

A court can grant a