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Ask the family lawyer » What is an interim care order?
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September 12, 2007

What is an interim care order?

Under s 38 of the Children Act 1989 the court has the power to make interim care and supervision? orders.? An interim care order places the child in the care of the local authority on an interim basis whilst the family is assessed and until the court can make a final decision.? The interim care order has the same effect as a final care order in giving the local authority parental responsibility.? The first time an interim care order is made it can last for 8 weeks and it can be renewed after that for up to 28 days at a time.? In practice, the court renews the interim care order without a hearing so long as nothing significant has changed since the last time the order was made and that all parties consent to the order being renewed.? A parent cannot expect the court to hold a hearing every time the interim order is renewed but can ask the court to consider the case again if something has changed or when some particularly important evidence comes in.? In theory the court should make a final decision in every care case within 40 weeks of the local authority?s application but in practice it can take a year or sometimes more.

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