Revised 22 April 2014
If your local authority is worried over the welfare of your child and whether or not they are being properly cared for and they are considering applying to the court for a care order, what steps do they need to take? The following steps lay out a basic care proceedings overview:
Letter before proceedings
Local authorities send a letter before court proceedings when they are worried about how a child is being looked after. It is often sent after the local authority has drawn up a plan for your child to be kept safe and well cared for but they are still concerned. The letter is a final notice for parents. If you don’t follow its instructions, you may have to go to court and your child could be taken into care.
“Brendan, you should be
proud of yourself. Due
to your professionalism,
my son is at home. God
bless you all. I am so
happy now, thank you.”Our client, M.C.
The letter asks you to come to a pre-proceedings meeting with your local authority to talk about the situation. At the meeting, you will talk about how to change the way you look after your child and how the local authority can support you to do this. If you agree some changes, these will be written down in a formal agreement that you and the local authority have to follow. If you don’t agree, your local authority will probably ask the court to take your child into care.
Keeping to the agreement
You must keep to any agreement you make at the pre-proceedings meeting and the local authority should keep to any agreements they make too. You will probably be asked to go to review meetings to check you are keeping to the agreement.
Going to court
If you don’t keep to the agreement or there are still serious or new concerns, your local authority will apply to a court to start care proceedings. You will have to go to court – possibly several times until the court makes its decision about your child’s future.
Under the Children and Families Act 2014, the court then has 26 weeks to complete care proceedings. This is the time that you have to fight for your child. It is not long. Make it count by making sure you have a competent care proceedings solicitor on your team.Contact Us Now
Brendan Fleming Solicitors are nationally recognized as a leading choice in the area of care work. We are justifiably proud of our expertise and our success rate. We are contracted to the Legal Services Commission for this type of work and are considered to be one of the leading national firms for publicly funded services.
Our principal, Brendan Fleming, has won a reputation for his innovative approach, spearheading many new ways of securing justice for families caught in the care proceedings trap. He is a member of a select children’s panel and recognized and approved by the Law Society.
If your family is being subject to Care Proceedings, see how we can help you: contact Brendan Fleming today.