Wardship is an order made by the courts that a child should be made a ward of court, because their parents are unfit or absent.

The High Court has powers to make certain orders regarding children where they have been removed, are in serious danger or at risk. This means that the High Court will have responsibility for that child and no orders can be made or action taken which affects the child, unless permission is obtained from the High Court first.

As the Children’s Act allows courts including the High Court to make orders relating to children, Wardship proceedings are only used in very rare circumstances.

The order ensures that the court becomes the legal guardian of the child, with the child’s day-to-day care carried out by one or more individuals or a local authority. As long as the minor remains a ward of court, all decisions regarding their upbringing must be approved by the court, for example a transfer to a different school or medical treatment.

Wardship is made only under special circumstances, for example where there is a risk that the child may be taken abroad. Wardship imposes an automatic prohibition on taking the child out of the United Kingdom.

Solicitors in our family department will be able to tell you whether Wardship proceedings are best for you or not. Should you wish to discuss please contact us on 020 8543 3302.