Care and Supervision Order Costs Recovery



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What is a Care Order?

A Care Order is a legal Court Order that gives a local authority parental responsibility for a child. This means that the local authority has the power to make decisions about the child’s welfare, including where the child lives, who the child has contact with, and what medical treatment the child receives.

A Care Order is usually made when the court is satisfied that a child is at risk of suffering significant harm if they continue to live with their parents or caregivers. The court will consider all the evidence presented, including reports from social workers, and will make a decision based on what it believes is in the best interests of the child to confer parental responsibility.

Care Orders are usually made for a period of 12 months initially, but they can be renewed by the court if necessary. The local authority has a duty to work with the child and their family to try and address any issues that led to the Care Order being made, with the ultimate aim of returning the child to their family if it is safe to do so.


What is a Supervision Order?

In English family law, a Supervision Order is a legal Order made by a Court that requires a local authority to advise, assist and befriend a child and their parent/carer and family. The Order gives the local authority the power to supervise the child’s care, but the child remains in the care of their parents or caregivers.

The local council will usually apply for a Supervision Order if they have concerns regarding the welfare of a child. A Supervision Order is usually made when the Court is satisfied that a child is at risk of harm but that it is not necessary to remove them from their home. The Order sets out the conditions under which the local authority will provide supervision and support, and the responsibilities of the child’s parents or caregivers.

An Interim Supervision Order may be sought without the need for a Court Hearing. This type of Order is usually made during the early stages of care proceedings whilst the court gathers evidence to decide on the long-term arrangements or care plan for the child.

The local authority will appoint a social worker to work with the child and their family to provide support, guidance, and assistance. The social worker may make regular visits to the family home to monitor the child’s welfare and provide advice and support.

Supervision Orders are usually made for a period of up to 12 months, but they can be renewed by the court if necessary. The aim of the Order is to provide support to the child and their family to address any issues that may be affecting the child’s welfare and prevent the need for more drastic measures, such as a Care order or the removal of the child from their home.


The Costs of Defending a Care and Supervision Order

The costs incurred in defending Care Orders and Supervision Orders can vary depending on a number of factors, including the complexity of the case, the length of the proceedings, and the legal representation chosen.

In Care and Supervision Order cases, Solicitors are typically funded by the Legal Aid Agency (LAA), which is a government-funded organisation that provides legal aid to people who cannot afford to pay for legal representation. In such cases, the Solicitor will claim their costs from the LAA, rather than from the other party or the Local Authority, as the standard rule in Family Court proceedings is that parties bear their own costs, pursuant to the Family Procedure Rules.

The LAA has specific rules and regulations for the recovery of costs in care proceedings. The costs that can be claimed by Solicitors are capped at legal aid rates, which are lower than the rates than would be charged for private work, albeit enhancements can be claimed where appropriate (up to 50% in County Court, and 100% in High Court matters for complex cases). The LAA will only reimburse costs that have been reasonably incurred and are necessary for the proper conduct of the case.  Reimbursement will also be provided for expert fees for which Court authority has been given to obtain (evidence for this will be required on submission of any claim for costs to the LAA).

Solicitors must submit detailed bills of costs to the LAA (or Court where appropriate) for assessment, and these will be checked to ensure that they comply with the LAA’s rules and regulations. The LAA may also conduct an independent review of the costs incurred in a case, and may reduce or disallow costs that it considers to be excessive or unnecessary.

It’s important to note that even if the legal representation is funded by legal aid, the Family Court still has discretion to award costs in children proceedings, depending on the circumstances of the case. If the Court decides to make a costs order, it will not be capped at legal aid rates and the Court will take into account the financial position of the parties.


How can ARC Costs assist with Care and Supervision Order costs?


The ARC Costs team are a highly experienced team of Legal Aid Costs Lawyers and Costs Draftsman. We assist Solicitors representing Respondents (parents, children or other joined parties such as grandparents) in defending care and supervision proceedings for which Legal Aid is awarded.

We assist throughout the process of recovering legal costs from the legal aid agency, including the submission of the case, obtaining interim costs, submitting final bills and uploading bills to the Care and Case Management Services (CCMS) via the LAA Online Portal.

We can further assist in quantifying and negotiating inter-partes costs in legally aid funded cases for which any costs order has been awarded. We are always happy to help with costs challenges/queries and can provide information on dealing with inter-partes costs in legal aid matters.

We can be contacted using our email address at, or by telephone on 01204 397302.



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