What is a Supervision Order?

Author:
Patricia Cannon
Partner, Head of Care Proceedings Law
Date:
01/03/2022

Under a Supervision Order, the Local Authority has a duty to befriend, advise and assist your child. This means social workers should make regular contact with your family and offer support and advice on resources. Supervision Order Reviews should also be held by the Local authority at least every three months.

Your ’supervised’ child may be required to report to a specific place on certain days, take part in specified activities or live in a place decided by the Local Authority.

Under a Supervision Order a ‘responsible person’, such as a parent with Parental Responsibility or anyone living with the child may have obligations imposed upon them with their consent. This person will be expected to give details of where the child is living and to allow reasonable contact between the child and the ‘supervisor’.

If you’ve been told your child will be placed under a Supervision Order, our Care Proceedings Team can help you with the next steps and discuss whether you could be entitled to Legal Aid.

When is a Supervision Order Necessary?

If the Local Authority thinks a Supervision Order is needed, they’ll apply for this through the Court. A decision will then be made based on the child’s current situation. The court will consider:

  • whether the child is suffering harm or is at risk of this in the future;
  • whether the child is beyond their parent or carer’s control, putting them at risk;
  • whether the care being given to the child meets reasonable expectations.

These are called the ‘threshold criteria’. The Court will need to be satisfied that the child is at risk of any of the above before granting permission to the Local Authority for a Supervision Order to be put in place.

Will I be Given Notice?

The Local Authority are legally required to give you notice before the first Court Hearing. They’ll send you a copy of the papers to be presented in Court and you have the right to attend and voice your opinion on whether a Supervision Order is needed.

A Care Proceedings Solicitor can represent you in proceedings and support you in putting forward your argument.

How Long Does a Supervision Order Last?

A Supervision Order may last up to a year, but it can be extended to a total of three years if the Local Authority applies back to Court and the Court believes that it should continue. 

To end the Supervision Order early, an application must be made by:

  • someone with parental responsibility for the child;
  • the child;
  • the ‘supervisor’ at the Local Authority.

The Court will need to see that there is enough evidence to demonstrate that the Supervision Order is no longer needed. A Care Proceedings Solicitor can help you to put together evidence to show the progress which has been made since the Supervision Order was granted.

For free legal advice call our Care Proceedings Solicitors

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