Seeking Parental Rights and Responsibilities

We strongly recommend you seek advice before seeking an order from the Court. This advice could be from the Citizens Advice Bureau, a law centre or a solicitor. If you need a solicitor’s advice you may be eligible for Legal Aid.

Would you like more of a say over decisions about the child in your care?

When caring for a “looked after” child you have limited rights on how the child/ren is brought up

  • The child’s parents still have all parental responsibilities and rights

And/or

  • The Local Authority may have some parental responsibilities and rights

If you would like to have more of a say over the child in your care you will:

  • Have to go to Court to apply for some or all parental responsibilities and rights
  • This is known as a Section 11 (1) Order which once obtained can also be called a Kinship Care Order
  • Discuss with Local Authority about a Permanence Order

So why would you like to do this?

Here are some advantages and disadvantages of obtaining some or all parental responsibilities and rights:

Advantages of having a Kinship Care Order

  • The birth parents will have reduced rights for the child depending on court decision
  • You can apply for a passport and take the child out of the country
  • You can consent to all medical and dental treatment
  • You can have a say on what happens to the child’s money or property
  • You can make decisions on where or how the child is schooled
  • You can consent to educational and other support for the child
  • Disciplining the child
  • Choosing the religion for the child
  • Agreeing to the renaming of the child
  • Allowing confidential information to be disclosed about the child
  • It gives a greater sense of security for the child, a feeling that they belong.

Disadvantages of not having a Kinship Care Order

  • You cannot apply for a passport for the child
  • You need permission to take child away
  • You cannot consent to medical treatment
  • You do not have any say over the child’s money or property
  • You cannot decide where the child is schooled
  • You may not be consulted about the child’s right to educational and other support
  • You cannot appeal against any decisions made about the child unless deemed a “relevant person”
  • Local Authority or parents will have the overall say.