It is likely to be extremely worrying if you receive a letter from children’s social services headed “Letter before Proceedings”. If you receive such a letter, it will mean that the social services teams either within Torbay Council, Devon County Council or Plymouth City Council are extremely concerned about the welfare of your children to the extent that they are considering starting Court proceedings against you. If you receive such a letter the Local Authority social work team will be inviting you to a very important meeting. Those meetings are still carrying on even allowing for the recent restrictions as they are taking place over Skype or other remote means. You must not ignore this letter because to receive such a letter usually identifies that social services have reached a point where they believe that the welfare of your children may only be safeguarded by them issuing Court proceedings, which ultimately could be with a plan for your children to be removed into care.
You should immediately seek legal advice. The letter that you receive from social services will confirm that they are holding a meeting on a certain date and time and you should be reassured that when you receive such a letter you will be automatically entitled to Legal Aid. You do not have to pay a solicitor to attend this meeting with you.
Discussions will take place at that meeting to see if a plan could be formulated to avoid social services taking you to Court. It may require you to enter into an agreement to safeguard the interests of the children and social services may be asking you to undertake assessments. It is important therefore, that prior to attending such a meeting that you have had an opportunity to speak with your solicitor so that you can then better know the options available to you and the alternatives that might be considered.
At Tozers LLP we have a large team who work regularly for parents and other family member in such situations. At Tozers LLP we are known for the experience and skill that we bring to our cases and more particularly we are known for the robust challenge that we will make to a Local Authority in the event that you instruct us to question the Local Authority’s position.
Please do not delay in seeking urgent legal advice upon receiving a Letter before Proceedings . Do not delay in speaking with a solicitor about the prospects of your case entering what is known as the Public Law Outline. The sooner you act then the more effective advice Tozers LLP can give to try and avoid a situation deteriorating to the point where social services take Court action against you.
Please contact Tozers LLP on 01626 207020
Partner and solicitor