The threat of social services taking your children into care can be a very traumatic experience for both you and your children. It’s vital to work with a solicitors that understand the ins and outs of the legal system.
Conversely, if you’re concerned about the welfare of a child and need assistance with your case, we’re always happy to help. Our priority is the child and we always work out a long-term solution that fits the child’s needs and interests.
That’s why at 174 Law our solicitors are specially trained to deal with care proceedings and child protection cases. Between us we have a combined experience of over 150 years in family law, making us one of the most prominent solicitors in the area.
What are care proceedings?
Care proceedings involves the Children’s Services applying to take a parent to court to determine whether or not your child can live with the parent if they suspect the home is unsafe. A social worker will hand over a document to the court detailing their concerns over the child. The parent/s receive copies of all documents sent to and from the courts and they have full rights to attend all court hearings and give their side of the story.
Social services usually send a pre-processings letter including all the concerns, as well as the steps the parents should take to avoid court action. The parents are then invited to a pre-proceedings meeting to discuss and come to an agreement. It’s always a very good idea to hire a solicitor and make sure they’re present throughout the meeting. We’re able to assist you in pre-proceedings meetings and help you with negotiations.
This is where a child is placed in the protection of social services, so effectively your child will be the responsibility of your local authority. A care order lasts until the child is 18 years old or if the court removes the order at any time.
Care orders will only be approved by a court if:
- The child is at risk of harm
- The child is actually being harmed
- The child’s parents are causing the harm
- The child’s parents are unable to stop the child from being harmed
If you want to challenge the care order we can give you comprehensive legal advice and walk you through the entire process – so you know where you stand and how you can approach the issue fully prepared.
Emergency protection order
An emergency protection order immediately protects a child from danger – including emotional abuse and physical harm. The maximum period is 8 days and anyone can apply for one – including concerned family members, friends, neighbours and professionals. The parents of the child are given one day’s notice, but in some serious cases where the child’s life is in danger, the child can be removed from his or her home imminently.