An interim care order is a legal term in the United Kingdom to describe a temporary state in which the authorities take legal custody of a child pending evaluation of the family. After the evaluation takes place, a final decision is made regarding the custody of the child.
When authorities have reason to believe that a child is living in a potentially harmful situation, the child is placed under an interim care order. This order lasts for a period of up to eight weeks, with the option to renew it every 28 days thereafter for as long as it takes to hold a proper investigation. During the term of the order, authorities interview any parties who have knowledge of the situation and possibly schedule support sessions for the parents. At the conclusion of the investigation, the case goes to a court hearing for the judge's decision.