Social Services may be concerned about your children.
You may have been accused of harming your children, your children may have suffered an injury that has caused concern, our you may have been accused of neglecting your children.
There are many situations where social services start court proceedings where they are worried about a child. If a child has suffered from an injury and they have been taken to hospital, the hospital may have told social services that they are concerned about how the injury might have occurred. Some examples of this are:-
- The child has swelling on its brain, but no one knows how it happened.
- The child has a fracture of the arm, leg or ribs, or might have multiple fractures, and no explanation is available as to how they might have been caused.
- The child has bruises, but there is no explanation as to how the bruises were caused.
- The child has collapsed and is very poorly, and there is no medical explanation as to why the child collapsed.
- A child may have died in unexplained circumstances.
Sometimes these are called “non accidental injuries”.
Social Services might be concerned about how you are caring for your children. They may be concerned that you are not looking after the children properly and that the children are being neglected.
There may be concerns that you are using drugs or alcohol, and that this is getting in the way of you being able to parent your children.
You may have a violent partner, and they may be concerned that the children are witnessing violence. There may be a concern that the children are suffering violence.
If you are sent court papers, it is important that you contact us immediately. IF YOU ARE A PARENT OF THE CHILD/CHILDREN, YOU WILL BE ENTITLED TO FREE LEGAL ADVICE. There will be a court timetable in place, and an initial court hearing will have been set. We will discuss matters over the phone with you.
We can represent you wherever you are based in the Country. We will make arrangements to meet with you if you are not local to Gloucestershire.
We have 2 Specialist Solicitors who deal with this area of law at Tayntons. Michelle Crooknorth and Gemma Candlish are both members of the Law Society Children Panel, which is a specialist accreditation. We are able to represent parents and children in proceedings involving social services. We will assist you at every stage of your case, and we will ensure that any specialist assessments of you and the children are obtained where appropriate. We try wherever possible to represent you at court ourselves, but where this is not possible, we have a team of trusted Barristers that we regularly use for this type of work.
Someone in your family might have had their children removed by social services. You may want advice on whether you could care for the children, or whether you can see the children.
We can advise you on all aspects of court proceedings, and how you can go about addressing these issues. It is important that you act quickly if the children have been removed. You may be eligible for legal aid depending on your financial circumstances.
We can offer a free initial meeting of up to 45 minutes to discuss this.
Social services will try to work with families before going to court. You may have received a letter from them which says that they are going to start a process called pre proceedings. This is the step before court proceedings so must be taken seriously. It is important that you have legal representation during this process. We can also attend meetings with social services with you. You will not have to pay for this services as legal representation is free to you if you are a parent. Please contact us either by telephone or by the referral form as soon as you have received the letter, and tell us the date of the meeting so that we can arrange to attend with you.
It is important that you understand this process as if social services are not happy with the progress that you are making, they might start court proceedings.
Please contact Michelle Crooknorth or Gemma Candlish at Tayntons to help advise you in relation to care proceedings using the telephone number below or by completing our contact form.