Further investigations and assessments are carried out before any final orders are made by the court.
While a care order is in force with respect to a child, the local authority designated by the order shall: The local authority can make decisions as to where the child will live and with whom, and how the child will have contact with named people.
If they are not subject to a care order, an order can only be made for a child who is under 16 years; if the child is subject to a care order, they can be placed in secure accommodation until they are 18.
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The local authority has responsibilities to ensure that plans are made and preparations in place before the child is 18 to enable the child to make the transition to independence, and the local authority continues to have duties towards the child until they are 23 years old.
A supervision order can also require the child to submit to medical or psychiatric examination as directed by the supervisor.
The court can give directions it considers appropriate with respect to the contact the child is to have with any named person or any medical or psychiatric examination or assessment of the child under s44(6).
If the child is of sufficient understanding to make an informed decision, they may refuse to submit to the examination or other assessments.
If the local authority want to suspend or stop contact for a period longer than seven days, they need to obtain a court order to do so.
If there is a dispute between the local authority and parents about contact, either party can seek a court order to define contact.
The court’s authority is not required for the first 72 hours that a child is placed in secure accommodation.
However, if the local authority believes that the child needs to be in secure accommodation for longer, an application must be made to the court.
can apply for but the most common are care orders, supervision orders, emergency protection orders and secure accommodation orders.
In these proceedings, the child is automatically a party and is represented by a children’s guardian appointed by Cafcass.
Where the plans for the child are for adoption or to live outside England or Wales, further court orders specifically permitting this are required.