Social Services have a duty to take action where they have concerns about the care a parent is giving their child. That action can range from simple support and advice, through Child Protection Planning, pre-proceedings (PLO) to an application for a Care Order with a view to removing the child from their parents’ care.
Those involved with Social Services often find the complicated mix of services, meetings and assessments frustrating, difficult and confusing. Care Proceedings mean going to Court and often include assessments by experts such as psychologists and psychiatrists. The process is intensive and involves many professionals including a solicitor and guardian appointed for the children so that their best interests can be promoted separately from all the other interested parties.
Our team of specialist Family Lawyers have experience in dealing with all aspects of Social Services involvement. As well as representing parents, our Children Panel Specialists has represented and advised children and young people directly offering them advice on their rights and ensuring that their views are known by the Court and the other adults involved. We also represent grandparents and other family members who are pulled into the process.
Our lawyers will seek to deal with all matters in a sensitive and understanding way focusing on the welfare of the children involved whilst ensuring that the parents and adults involved are treated fairly. We will seek to guide and advise you through the process of dealing with Social Services and the Courts. We can advise you at short notice if you have been given notice of a Court Hearing or the sudden involvement of Social Services.
If you are a parent of (or have parental responsibility for) a child in care proceedings, you will automatically qualify for Legal Aid which means that you can have legal representation without having to pay anything. This free legal advice also covers advice prior to the issue of Court Proceedings if you have received notice from Social Services that they plan to take matters to Court.
If you would like to speak with one of our team, we offer free initial advice appointments. For more information, please telephone 01380 733300 or 01225 896100. If you think you might qualify for Legal Aid we can help – please let us know when you telephone.