The following Local Government practice note produced in partnership with Claire Cousin provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
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.
The following can apply for a care order:
a local authority, or
an authorised person
An authorised person is:
the NSPCC (or any of its officers), and
any officer of any body or any person that has been authorised by the Secretary of State
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.
A court can grant a local authority a care order if
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