The first indication you may get that the local authority intends to pursue care proceedings against you is a Letter Before Proceedings.
As the name suggests, this is your formal notice that the care proceedings process is about to be begun against you.
Receipt of a care proceedings letter means that your local authority have reason to believe that your child is not being properly cared for; or that they are out of control. The letter will tell you the cause for their concern.
Sometimes this might be as a result your lifestyle. Sometimes it may be because of your child’s health or because they are not going to school. The letter will tell you exactly why they believe your child would be benefited by being taken into care.
What Should You Do on Receipt of a Letter Before Proceedings?
It is important that you do not ignore the letter. It will ask you to attend a meeting – a pre-proceedings meeting. The letter will tell you when and where it is. This meeting will give you chance to go over with the local authority their concerns over the welfare of your child. It is also your first opportunity to make it clear that you intend to fight for your child.
If you disagree with what the letter says, you will have a chance to say why at the meeting. You can have your say about how your child should be looked after and put your side of the story across. Read carefully what your local authority has said in the letter about why they think your child is not being looked after properly, and decide whether or not you agree with them. If you agree, think about what you could do to change. If you don’t agree, you will need to say why.
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The receipt of a Letter Before Proceedings is your indicator that it is time to contact a Care Proceedings Solicitor. They will accompany you to the Pre-Proceedings Meeting and fight your corner.
If you don’t attend the pre-proceedings meeting, the local authority will almost certainly apply to the court to start care proceedings.
Receiving a letter before proceedings does not automatically mean that your child will be taken into care. However, if you do not fight for your child, you may lose them to the car proceedings process, allowing and social services to take your child.
The letter – and the pre-proceedings meeting – give you a chance to show your local authority that you are willing to agree to make changes to the way you look after your child. If you don’t take this chance, then your local authority will almost certainly start care proceedings.
You need to show to your local authority that you are willing to work with them to take steps to change the way you look after your child.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 you have received a Letter Before Proceedings and need a Care Proceedings Solicitor to help you, contact Brendan Fleming today.