The Local Authority has a legal duty to ‘safeguard protect and promote the welfare of children’ in their area. If a Local Authority thinks that a child is at risk of harm or neglect they have to take action. If agreements cannot be made then the only way the Local Authority can share ‘parental responsibility’ with a parent is to apply for an interim care order and the Court is likely to list the matter urgently for a Hearing. However, it is the Court (not Social Services) that will make the final decision about the children based upon what is in the children’s best interests. Public Funding is available for parents in these cases. This is a complex area of law and it is very important that a parent seeks immediate legal advice. If the Local Authority issue proceedings then a lawyer in our family team at WBW would usually offer a ‘same day’ appointment.