"Child's Welfare"
SVU, Episode 13.16
Production number: 13016
First aired: 29 February 2012
  th of 476 produced in SVU  
th of 476 released in SVU
  th of 1229 released in all  
Teleplay By
Peter Blauner & Julie Martin

Story By
Warren Leight

Directed By
Holly Dale

Detective Benson calls on Bayard Ellis for legal help when her estranged brother gets caught in a child custody battle.


Detective Benson's half-brother Simon Marsden turns up in New York after a five year absence, and asks for help – Child Services is threatening to take his children away from him. She asks defense attorney Bayard Ellis to represent her brother, but the seemingly simple case turns into a disaster for Ellis and his client. Meanwhile, a homeless couple finds a newborn baby abandoned near a hospital, and Detectives Fin and Rollins follow the evidence to a shocking discovery.


A baby boy is abandoned on the steps of a church not far away from a hospital. The DNA testing shows that the baby's mother is a young girl named Celia, who had been missing for three years. The detectives find a similar case years ago in New Jersey.

After interviewing the mother of the first abandoned child, Laurie, it is discovered that she was abducted and kept by a husband and wife. When Laurie gave birth to a son, the husband wouldn't allow her to keep it. In the end, the detectives discover that a husband and wife have been holding Celia and her 2-year-old daughter captive and rescue them.

Meanwhile, Olivia's brother Simon asks for her help when his stepson Ty and his daughter Olivia are taken away from him and his fiancee, Tracy. Olivia gets Bayard Ellis to help defend Simon against the drug charges that led to him losing his children, but Simon loses all faith in the system and doesn't believe that he'll get his kids back.

Simon and Tracy abduct their kids from foster care and are arrested. Ellis is able to get Simon's charges reduced and Tracy's dropped, as well as her gaining custody of their children. However, this is only on the conditions that the two have to separate, and Simon can only see his children in a supervised setting for three years, with the chance to regain custody afterwards.


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast


Episode quotes

Background information and notes

Episode scene cards

1 2 3

Mercy Hospital
365 West 32nd Street
Monday, February 20

Office of
Bayard Ellis
228 Church Street
Tuesday, February 21

Pre-Trial Hearing
Part 35
Wednesday, February 22

4 5 6

Family Court
Part 4
Thursday, February 23

Social Services Agency
915 Broad Street
Newark, New Jersey
Friday, February 24

Home of
Will and Jenna Fleming
11 Crescent Avenue
Cliffside Park, New Jersey
Friday, February 24

7 8 9

Women's Shelter
249 Madison Street
Saturday, February 25

Arraignment Court
Part 19
Monday, February 27

Mercy Hospital
365 West 32nd Street
Tuesday, February 28

Previous episode:
"Hunting Ground"
"Child's Welfare"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 13
Next episode:
"Justice Denied"
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