Q&A Local Authority won’t return children following my hospital stay. What should I do?

Q: I have been very poorly and as I am a single parent with no family living locally, I agreed for my children to go into temporary care whilst I spent an extended period of time in hospital. I was eventually discharged and went home. I then allowed myself several weeks for convalescing before telling the Local Authority that I was fully recovered and able to care for the children again. This was almost two months ago, but the children have still not returned to my care. I am totally distraught. What should I do?

A: It is fairly common for parents to need support from the Local Authority in a situation such as you have found yourself in. When a child is temporarily placed into Local Authority foster care with your consent, it can be for a whole range of reasons.

Although there is no time limit as to how long an arrangement like this should last, it is not intended to be a long-term situation.

As the children’s mother, you have parental responsibility for them, and you can therefore remove your consent to the placement at any time you think fit. At this point, the Local Authority should take steps to return the children to your care.  This is not something that the Local Authority should refuse to do. However, it may be that they have concerns around whether you can manage the children. If this is the case, they may express concerns about the children being returned to your care if they think they could be at risk of harm, and they may ask you to consider your position.

It is important that you seek legal advice from a Family solicitor who has experience in dealing with Children matters.

This question has been answered by Mari Sherrington, a Solicitor with GHP Legal.

If you would like to speak to someone about this or any other legal matter, book an appointment by visiting GHP Legal or contacting one of our offices:


Email: wrexham@ghplegal.com

Phone: 01978 291456


Email: llangollen@ghplegal.com

Phone: 01978 860313


Email: oswestry@ghplegal.com

Phone: 01691 659194

Mari Sherrington, Solicitor at GHP Legal

Mari Sherrington


Part of our Family & Matrimonial team in Wrexham