Care proceedings and threat of the Local authority becoming involved with your Family and Children.

broken familySometimes, Social Services (The Local Authority) may need to intervene in the way children are being looked after, particularly if it is thought there may be concerns about the safety or welfare of the children.

  Legal aid, or Public Funding, will though be available to every parent, irrespective of financial position, if there is a serious threat of a formal application being made to take your child away from the family home.

 

Can Your Children be removed Permanently from their Home and fromYour Care?

If you are advised there are serious concerns about your children, by a social worker involved with your family, you should seek immediate advice from us as specialist child care law solicitors in Cardiff.

Indeed if you are notified there is to be formal meeting or indeed a Child Protection Conference held in respect of concerns about your child or children, then it is imperative to seek immediate expert legal advice. 

The Ultimate outcome of Children's Care Proceedings could be that your baby, child or children will be removed permanently from your care and a worst case scenario that you would never see them again. 

  It is important to arrange for legal representation at formal case conferences, or pre proceedings meetings with a view to understanding the nature of the perceived problems

 Without doubt they will need to be fully understood and addressed comprehensively to avoid any culmination in matters progressing further.

  Because we are experienced in the skills of mediation we will advise on the positive response, which if followed, may well lead to a resolution of the issues without the need for formal court proceedings.

It is important to understand that the  local authority have statutory duties, but are plainly assisted when positive progress can be agreed in meetings which benefits the family and children involved.

  The Local Authority may however be forced to initiate care proceedings in respect of a child or children when they take a view that a child has suffered or is likely to suffer, significant physical or emotional harm.

Before going to Court, your child’s Social Worker has to send papers to the Court explaining why they are worried about your child. You must and will receive a copy of these papers. It is though essential that you contact us, as leading specialists in child care law in Cardiff, at that stage.

 Should matters escalate to further substantive formal court hearings, the Family Court will make a number of decisions including whether an Interim Care or Supervision Order should be made, where your child should live until the final hearing and indeed, what level of contact you should have in the interim.

List of children’s matters where we can assist:

  • Care Order
  • Interim Care Order
  • Supervision Order
  • Interim Supervision Order
  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • Police Protection Orders
  • Special Guardianship Order
  • Adoption Orders
  • Placement Order
  • Pre Proceedings Meetings
  • Child Protection Case Conferences
  • Child Protection review Conferences
  • Defending allegations of injury, neglect or abuse
  • Child Arrangement Orders
  • Domestic abuse/ violence
  • Prohibited Steps Orders
  • Specific Issue Orders

Can I get Legal Aid/Public Funding?

If you are the parent of the child then you will automatically qualify for funding if proceedings are issued. Such funding is automatic irrespective of your financial position. You will become eligible as soon as you receive a letter from the local authority confirming there are serious concerns about the safety of your chidren.

If you are a grandparent or other family member of the child, then it may still be possible to obtain some form of funding particularly if the child is living with you. 

In the first instance, if the Local Authority are seeking removal of a child from a parent, they are also obliged to consider whether there are any family members or relatives who are willing and able to look after the child, as an alternative of placing the child in foster care or indeed for formal Adoption.

   It is therefore often helpful to make inquiries of close family members to see if they may be able to assist either in the long or even short term, in a realistic, practical sense.

We understand how stressful and emotional these particulars family proceedings can be, which is why we pride ourselves on offering a friendly, sympathetic, dedicated but at all times, professional approach.

We also have a strong reputation for fighting for our clients and achieving positive and successful outcomes. We will guide you through this difficult time with realistic and focused advice

Finally, given the complexity of these matters and indeed, given the use of terminology or words and phrases which you may find unfamiliar, we enclose a glossary of frequently used terms.
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