Expert legal support through care proceedings.
Anyone going through care proceedings knows how stressful and emotional they can be. That is why we’re here to give you straightforward legal advice, with sensible and clear steps to follow. Whether you need to defend yourself from unfair allegations about your parenting, make fundamental changes in your life, or both at once, we will help you from start to finish to secure the best possible outcome when we represent you in court.
Constructive, straight-talking legal advice
Deciding whether a child should be removed is a serious decision that has life-changing consequences for the child and their family. The 26 weeks you are given to form your case is a time to think sensibly and pragmatically, but we know that isn’t as simple as it sounds. So, we work closely with our clients, guiding you through the entire process and giving you clear steps to follow at every stage.
We’ve been helping parents, other family members and guardians navigate the care proceedings process for years. We know the pitfalls and the routes to success. Thanks to our extensive experience in all types of children law orders, we can give you a clear indication of what to expect from the outcome, and we will always tell you in plain English how and why we have come to that conclusion. At a time when you need clarity and honesty the most, that is exactly what our child care solicitors will provide.
Our constructive and sensitive approach is a tried-and-tested balance that works. We’ve advised family members and guardians representing children going through all kinds of difficulties, from abuse, to alcohol and drug misuse, mental health issues and violence. We know you need someone who understands your situation. But you also need someone who knows family law and how to get the best possible outcome. Our solicitors will help you see the bigger picture and give you the guidance you need to feel confident when you’re in the family court.
What are care proceedings?
Care proceedings is a legal process in the Children Act 1989 that takes place when a Local Authority’s children’s social care department asks the Court to decide whether a child should be removed and/or where a child should live. The result of the process varies enormously, from the permanent removal of a child into public care and placement of a child for adoption to a child remaining with or returning to their parents or family with support and monitoring – and everything in between.
The entire process is designed to take 26 weeks and can involve a number of hearings. During this time, you and your solicitor will need to collect and review evidence about the situation. In some cases, an interim care order may be put in place, which means the child will be put into care on a temporary basis until the final hearing. Many cases begin with an Interim Care Order application, and you will have opportunity to contest it. On many occasions, we have helped clients successfully defend themselves from an application to remove their children, meaning they can continue to parent whilst the proceedings are ongoing.
We’ve taken family members and Children’s Guardians through the care proceedings process hundreds of times, and we can help you too. We’re thorough and straight-talking, and we’ll make sure you know exactly what you need to do throughout.
Getting the best possible result
The Court will decide which order to make based on what is in a child’s best interests. To come to a decision, the Court will consider a number of factors listed in the Children Act’s “Welfare Checklist”. It’s our job to listen to you and help you put forward a strong case for the result you believe is best for your child and why. There are a number of pitfalls to avoid during Care Proceedings, and we will be by your side to guide you throughout.
Outcomes from Care Proceedings are decided based on the child’s welfare, not just what the parent or child wants to happen. This is difficult for any parent to come to terms with, and it can be upsetting for children too, but our dedicated legal advice can help you understand your options for the future. Our responsibility as your solicitors is to help you persuade the Court that your proposal is the best outcome for the child.
If you are a parent in care proceedings, you will need straight-talking but sensitive legal representation to protect your interests. Sometimes, this will involve challenging serious allegations made against you, and sometimes it is about telling (and more importantly showing) the Court that whilst you have made mistakes in the past, you are well on the way to fixing them. Often, it is both. Defending and promoting your position requires expert legal representation to make sure the right evidence, in terms of assessments, reports and statements, are put together and presented to the Court during hearings in the most persuasive way.
Even in circumstances where your child may not be able to safely return home, a solicitor is important in making sure you can maintain a meaningful relationship with your child. It is also our role to ensure the Court makes the order on a fair factual basis and does not take the Local Authority’s view at face value.
Get a solicitor on your side
If you would like to work closely with one of our experienced team through the child care proceedings process, call Denise Herman on +44 (0) 1923 725 015, email at email@example.com or fill in our contact form.