Child Care and Child Protection
Child Care Proceedings and related issues
If Social Services become involved regarding a child, it can be a very worrying and distressing time. It is imperative that you seek advice at an early stage by contacting an experienced child care lawyer.
We represent parents, children, grandparents, and others, in disputes with the Local Authority (Social Services). We have a number of experienced child care lawyers who can offer specialised legal advice.
Although Legal Aid is not widely available for all aspects of family law, Legal Aid is still available for those who have been requested to attend a Meeting Before Action or where Social Services have issued court proceedings.
Meeting Before or Action, or Letter Before Proceedings meeting
If you have been sent a letter regarding a Meeting Before or Action or Letter Before Proceedings, we can give you advice on what to do, and represent you at the meeting itself.
The meeting will be required where Children’s Services have significant concerns about the parenting of a child, and where there is the prospect that they will issue court proceedings, potentially with a view to seeking the removal of the child. You and/or your lawyer will be given the opportunity to put your side forward, and where appropriate to challenge the evidence being presented.
Court proceedings will be issued where the Local Authority have significant concerns about the care of a child, and may mean they are seeking to remove the child either on a short or long-term basis.
If the Local Authority intend to issue court proceedings regarding the care of a child, they may seek a care order or supervision order. This can also result in issues regarding adoption, emergency protection orders, or secure accommodation.
The parents and the child concerned are entitled to legal aid for representation throughout the court proceedings. You will require specialised advice about the evidence being put before the court, and it is imperative to seek advice at an early stage, as care proceedings have a strict time frame of 26 weeks.
We understand that this type of situation can be extremely daunting for those involved and we can offer specialised, sympathetic and determined advice and representation.
John Stebbing is a Member of the Children Law Panel which enables him to represent children in court proceedings.
If you require advice or representation in relation to the care of a child, please contact the Family Department on 01323 644222 or firstname.lastname@example.org