Child Protection

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Social services involvement with your family

When social services become involved with your family this can be a very distressing time.  There are many different ways that social services can intervene in your family life.  We have a number of specialist solicitors who will deal with your matter with sensitivity.  Our comprehensive understanding of the law means that we will also challenge the local authority where others might not do so.

We specialise in:

  • Care orders
  • Supervision orders
  • Emergency protection orders
  • Police protection
  • Secure accommodation orders
  • Contact with children in care
  • Pre-proceedings letters
  • Child protection investigations/plans
  • Child in need plans

Public Law

Sometimes there are circumstances in which social services are involved with a family to support them or because they have some concerns.

Child in Need

Social Services have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of a child in need by providing support and services to a family. social services will arrange Child in Need (CIN) Meetings to discuss the support that they can put in place for your family and then keep these under review.

Child Protection Plan

If a child is at risk of significant harm, social services may arrange a Child Protection Conference (CPC) which is a meeting to decide whether a child should be placed on a Child Protection Plan (CPP). A CPP sets out the reasons why social services think your child is at risk, what steps you need to take, what support or services social services will give you and then this will be reviewed again at a further child protection conference to see whether the risks have been reduced.

Although solicitors do not usually attend child protection conferences, we can advise you in relation to these.

Pre Proceedings/PLO

When social services have concerned about a child living in their area, and are considering whether to issue care proceedings, they can send a Letter Before Proceedings which sets out their concerns and steps that need to be taken to try to avoid court proceedings. They will also invite you to a meeting to discuss the concerns and steps that need to be taken.

If you receive a Letter Before Proceedings, you are entitled to free legal advice in relation to that letter and for a solicitor to attend the meeting with you, so please contact us on 01268 240 400 to discuss this further.

Care and Supervision Orders

A care order or supervision order is applied for if social services have concerns that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm, and they therefore ask the court to make an order to keep the child safe.

A care order can give social services parental responsibility [add link to this page] for a child and so enable them to look after the child in, for example, foster care or with another family member. An Interim Care Order (ICO) can be made for a short period while the court proceedings are taking place and while further evidence is gathered to help the court make a final decision about a child’s care arrangements and safety.

A supervision order can be made to enable social services to advise, assist and befriend a family so that they can monitor and support a family, usually while they live at home. An Interim Supervision Order can also be made for a short period of time during the court proceedings while longer term decisions are being made about a child.

If social services make an application for either a care order or supervision order in relation to your child, you are automatically entitled to free legal representation and so please contact us on 01268 240400 so that we can advise you.

Funding for advice and legal representation

Legal aid is available to assist you in these areas of law.  Please contact one of our specialist team who will be able to assess your eligibility.

If you are not eligible for legal aid then please contact us to discuss your options and to obtain a quote.  We offer flexible and competitive prices for all our privately paying clients.