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Court orders to protect children from abuse - where to start

This advice applies to Wales

If the local authority thinks that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm, there are a number of court orders they can apply for to protect the child. This page tells you what court orders they could apply for.

Court orders

If the local authority thinks that a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm, there are a number of court orders that they can apply for to protect the child. These are:

  • emergency protection orders. These allow the social worker to enter the child's home and remove the child for a short time if the court decides this is necessary
  • child assessment orders. These say that parents must make the child available for any medical, psychiatric or social work assessment that the court decides is necessary
  • supervision orders.  These put the child under the supervision of the local authority or a probation officer but the parents still have parental responsibility
  • care orders. These give social workers parental responsibility, so they can take decisions about the child’s life. Sometimes this will mean taking the child away from the family, but not always.

Get help

If the local authority has applied, or is about to apply, to the court for any of the orders listed above, you should get the advice of a solicitor experienced in child care law. Legal aid is always available if you’re a parent and social services have applied for a care, supervision or emergency protection order, whatever your income.

Next steps

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