A Care Order can be made in Care Proceedings brought under section 31 of the Children Act 1989 if the Threshold Criteria are met. The Order grants Parental Responsibility for the child to the local authority specified in the Order, to be shared with the parents.
A Care Order lasts until the child is 18 unless discharged earlier. An Adoption Order automatically discharges the Care Order. A Placement Order automatically suspends the Care Order, but it will be reinstated if the Placement Order is subsequently revoked.
All children who are the subject of a Care Order come within the definition of Looked After
and have to have a Care Plan
. When making a Care Order, the Court must be satisfied that the Care Plan is suitable.