Lee, 13, was removed from his mother’s care four years ago and placed with foster carers, Alice and David. Lee’s social worker, Janet, has told him that social work would like to apply for Permanence and want to know what he thinks.

Lee contacted Clan Childlaw to get legal advice as he wasn’t sure what Permanence means. A solicitor arranged to go and see him at school. The solicitor explained to Lee that to apply for Permanence, social work need to apply to the court for a permanence order. Since Lee is over 12 years old, social work have to ask him to agree to a permanence order and find out what he thinks. If he doesn’t agree then they can’t apply for a permanence order.

The solicitor explained that a permanence order will mean that his birth parents won’t have the right to decide where he lives, and that social work can decide where he lives until he is 16 years old. It will also mean that social work have a responsibility to provide him with support and help until he is 18 years old. A permanence order also means that he will no longer be in the children’s hearing system so he won’t have hearings anymore.

The solicitor explained that the permanence order may also say other things, for example, it can take away the parental responsibilities and rights that his birth parents have and give them to someone else, like social work, or foster carers. It can also say that he can be adopted. If the permanence order says that he can be adopted, then his birth parents can’t challenge this in the future.

Lee likes living with Alice and David but enjoys seeing his mum a few times a year. He is worried that Permanence will mean this will stop. The solicitor explained that if the court thinks that contact with his mum is in his best interests then they can order that contact to continue.

The solicitor can support Lee to give his views about Permanence, including contact with his mum, to social work and advise him about the permanence order.

More information on Permanence.