Parental responsibility

The different legal terms affect the level of support you can expect to receive from children’s services, and something called parental responsibility.

Parental responsibility is a legal term meaning the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority a parent has for a child and the child's property. A person who has parental responsibility for a child has the right to make decisions about their care and upbringing.

The level of parental responsibility you have for the child affects what decisions you can make about the child, when you have to get the parents’ permission, and in some cases, when you have to get the permission of children’s services.

Anyone looking after somebody else’s child, (for example a child minder, babysitter, a teacher at school) can act in loco parentis. This means they can take immediate steps to keep a child safe and well.