Legal advice on discharging a care order.

If your child has been taken away after care proceedings, the chance of having them back at home with you is incredibly exciting. There are a number of criteria you need to meet, and what is best for your child will always be the Court’s priority. We can help you prepare a case to achieve the best possible outcome for your family. 

Finding a clear path forward

The child care team at Blaser Mills Law has helped lots of families reunite with their children who are currently in foster care or being looked after by a kinship foster carer. Taking the local authorities to court to reverse a care order is challenging, but it is not impossible. We know the process and we’ve been through it a number of times. This experience means we can give you a clear indication of your chances, no matter what your situation has been in the past and what it looks like now.

Our approach is centred on honesty and positivity. We know what you’re up against and we’re realistic about the outcomes you can expect. You can rely on us to be clear with you from the outset. However, we also know we can help you improve your situation, because we’ve done it for others lots of times. Even if the outcome isn’t what you had hoped for, we will help you make a plan for the future, if and when circumstances change.

At Blaser Mills Law, we take a personable approach. This means we’ll work closely with you and be there to answer any questions you have, whenever you have them. We take a genuine interest in families and will make sure you feel supported at all times.

Grounds for discharging a care order

A number of people can create an application to discharge a care order. It could be the child themselves perhaps through an independent reviewing officer, the parent, someone with parental responsibility like a special guardian or sometimes the Local Authority itself. To get the final court order changed, you will need to show that circumstances have significantly improved, which may include having a secure home, signs of improved mental health and a better relationship with drugs and alcohol. To successfully discharge the care order, you will have to show that the reasons the child was taken into care no longer apply, and that there are no other causes for concern for the child’s care. 

Grounds for discharging a care order must be based on the child’s welfare, and your child can also have a say in where they want to live and their care plan. Our legal experts will look at your situation and give you a clear expectation on the outcome of your application.

Guidance through the process

There are two main ways to discharge a care order. You may wish to appeal a care order if you believe the judge made a mistake during your final hearing, in which case, we need to act quickly to arrange an appeal, which has to be made within a strict time limit. The second, and usually more effective, way is through a discharge of care order, which you could pursue if you have made positive changes in your life and want to try to get your child out of care. 

Discharging a care order takes time and you need to provide clear evidence to the Court that you have taken positive steps forward. For this reason, your application needs to reflect the changes you’ve made. We prefer to advise our clients early in the process, so you are prepared for the assessments which will be a key part of any application to discharge a care order. It is a formal and complicated process, and we will guide you through an application which is a truthful but persuasive representation of your situation. We will also help you present to the Court all the reasons why it is in your child’s best interests to be removed from a placement where they are settled, and returned home – a sensitive and difficult task, requiring expertise to get right.

Getting legal aid for discharging a care order

You may be entitled to legal aid through the Legal Aid Agency. This will help to cover the costs of our advice while applying to discharge a care order. Whether or not you get this help will be based on your income and other circumstances.

Contact us

Our team has particular experience in the discharge of care order criteria and discharge of care order test. We can guide you through the steps you need to take, including applying for legal aid. For our help, call Denise Herman on +44 (0) 1923 725 015, email at or fill in our contact form.