If a local authority has concerns regarding the welfare of a child, court proceedings are not inevitable and it is possible to work with the local authority in order to avoid them. To do so, the local authority must be satisfied that the parents will make the necessary changes to ensure that their children are safe and well cared for.
Public Law Outline (PLO)
Under this process, parents are invited to work with the local authority to resolve problems and concerns that the local authority may have regarding the care of the parents’ children. Parents can be represented by solicitors at these meetings, and the emphasis is on co-operation with the local authority in order to resolve concerns.
If parents refuse to work with the local authority or make the necessary changes, the local authority will commence proceedings for either an interim supervision order or an interim care order.
Child Protection Case Conference
A local authority may decide to call a meeting called a Child Protection Case Conference. This meeting will consider whether children need to be on a child protection plan which will allow the local authority to visit regularly and work with the parents to address any concerns that they may have. Plans are reviewed regularly, and the local authority will work with other professionals involved with the family; for example, teachers, midwives and health visitors.
Our Child Care team is both highly-experienced and highly-reputed in the area of Child Care law. Our lawyers offer straight-talking, clearly understandable advice that can often be the difference between care proceedings being issued or not. The team handles children matters involving local authority intervention on a daily basis and provides an unparalleled wealth of experience to children, parents and families at a time when they need it most.
Our team includes lawyers who are members of the Family Law panel, Children panel, BAAF and NAGALRO.
Parents with parental responsibility can be represented at the PLO and will receive Legal Aid regardless of financial circumstances. Advice can be given regarding child protection case conferences, and our Child Care team can give you more information regarding this.