Care Proceedings Solicitors
If social services contacts you with concerns about your children or to initiate care proceedings, or if your children have been taken into care already, we can help.
This means we have the specialist expertise to represent parents and children in proceedings involving social services. We can assist you at every stage of your case and ensure any specialist assessments of you and the children are obtained where appropriate.
We will 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.
Although our care proceedings solicitors are based in Gloucester, 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, making our service accessible and convenient nationwide.
Our specialist care proceedings lawyers can attend meetings with social services with you free of charge (if you are the child or children in question’s parent). Please contact us either by telephone on 0800 158 4147 or using 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.
If you are sent court papers, it is important that you contact us immediately. There will be a court timetable in place, and an initial court hearing will have been set. If you are the parent of a child at the centre of social services proceedings, you will be entitled to free legal advice. We will be happy to have an initial discussion over the phone with you so we can advise you on the best way to proceed to protect your family.
Speak to one of our care proceedings solicitors now by calling 0800 158 4147 or request a call back and a member of our team will be in touch promptly.
Why might social services have concerns about your children?
There are a number of reasons why social services may be concerned about your children, possibly resulting in court proceedings being started against you.
- You have been accused of harming your children
- Your children have suffered an injury that has caused concern
- You have been accused of neglecting your children
- Your child has died in unexplained circumstances
- There are 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 causing concern that your children are witnessing or suffering violence
- There may be concerns that you are not looking after your children properly and that they are being neglected
When might social services start court proceedings?
A common scenario that can result in concerns may be raised is where your child has been taken to hospital with an injury and the hospital tells social services that they are concerned about how the injury might have occurred. These unexplained injuries are sometimes referred to as ‘non-accidental injuries’.
Concerns may also be raised by a teacher, another family member, family friend, parents of your children’s friends or a number of other people who come into contact with your children and may have reason to be worried about their wellbeing.
How we can help you with social services and care proceedings
We provide experienced, highly skilled advice and support to parents and other family members when dealing with social services and care proceedings, helping to safeguard the future of your family and your children’s best interests.
Taking action before proceedings are initiated
In the first instances, social services will try to work with families before going to court. We can make sure you have the right advice and support to help you deal with any areas of concern and give you the best chance of achieving an early resolution that keeps your family together.
You may have received a letter from social services saying that they are going to start a process called pre-proceedings‹‹. This is the step before court proceedings so must be taken seriously. This process can be confusing and intimidating, so it is essential that you have specialist legal representation during this process.
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.
Representation during care proceedings
If social services do initiate court proceedings, we can support and represent you at every stage to ensure your side of the story is told effectively, giving you the best possible chance of a positive outcome.
We are highly experienced in court hearings related to care proceedings, as well as appeals at all levels, meaning no angle will be overlooked to ensure your rights as parents and your children’s wellbeing are defended.
Helping family members to get custody or contact with children taken into care
If the children of a family member have been removed by social services, you may want to provide a home for the children or find out whether you can see them.
We can advise you on all aspects of care 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.
Get in touch with our care proceedings solicitors in Gloucester
Covid- 19. (Coronavirus)
Our Care Department remains open and active at this time. All of our staff are ready and equipped to work remotely. Appointments for existing and new client’s can take place via telephone conference (or in some cases video link.) We will contact you if you have an appointment coming up to discuss this.
To confirm legal aid for urgent court proceedings involving social services (care proceedings) is still accessible and we are still able to put this in place, as is other legal aid. This has not changed. Please contact us if you receive an urgent letter about court proceedings or pre-proceedings from social services.
Court hearings – At present, the Courts remain open although the majority of hearings are taking place by telephone where possible. We will contact you directly in the run-up to your hearing to discuss the logistics. New cases are also taking place by telephone.
Looking for friendly, reliable advice and support for any legal issues involving social services and care proceedings anywhere in the UK?