We understand that care proceedings involving your child or children are very difficult to go through. We support parents and children who are involved with local authority social services, by giving advice, advocacy at Court or by attending meetings.
Trusted legal partners
Our team are experts in this field, with four solicitors being members of the Children Panel, so you can trust that we will do our best to help you to move forwards in such difficult circumstances.
What does the local authority do?
The local authority acts to protect children who they believe are suffering harm or who are likely to suffer harm if they’re not given any form of protection. If the local authority has serious concerns, they may apply to the Court for one of these orders:
- An emergency protection order – an application will be made in emergency situations and this order lasts for 8 days. The child is either taken to a safe place or will stay in the place where they are currently safely living.
- A care order – with this order, the local authority shares parental responsibility with the child’s parents. The child may be taken from the parents if there are significant worries for their safety.
- An interim order – this is the first order that is made. It can last for up to 8 weeks and can be renewed for up to 28 days at a time until the case is ready for the final hearing.
- A supervision order – A supervisor is appointed (normally the local authority social worker) to advise, assist and befriend the child. This order can last for up to one year but the local authority doesn’t have any parental responsibility.
If your child or children can’t keep living at home with you, then we will help you to think through their options – whether that’s living with other family members or with local authority foster carers. We’ll also look at what’s been decided for contact and will help you, as parents, to get the best arrangements possible.
Sometimes, the child’s home circumstances need to be assessed. This can feel daunting, but we can arrange for experts to carry out these assessments to help the Court to get the best outcome for your child.
Whatever your income – if you’re a parent involved in care proceedings affecting your child, legal aid is there to help you.