My colleagues specialising in domestic abuse have noted a marked increase in the number of enquiries since the Covid-19 crisis and lockdown. Likewise, the care team within Tozers are noting an upward trend in the number of cases being referred as a result of Social Services involvement.
The Local Authorities in Devon, Plymouth and Torbay were already extremely busy prior to this recent crisis and the circumstances of the lockdown have led to a challenge as to how they are able to operate their safeguarding procedures and routines.
At Tozers we have a large team, with four members on the Children Panel, ready and able to work from home, and/or otherwise conduct telephone Court hearings, to assist either Children’s Guardians, parents, grandparents and other family members who find themselves under the scrutiny and eye of Social Services at this difficult time.
One of the implications of the lockdown and the closure of the schools is that the protection given to children when attending school or meeting with health visitors has largely been lost. It is also sadly, a consequence of the lockdown that those children who are away from their parents in foster carer are no longer able to have the face to face meetings that they ordinarily would have had supervised by Social Services. It is undoubtedly a tough time out there for all families and the professionals working with them.
Tozers solicitors are here to help those families who find themselves receiving letters or communications from Social Services. Our large childcare team remains available through these difficult times and will be there to support and assist children, parents and family members as before.