Image courtesy of luigi diamanti/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of luigi diamanti/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Care Proceedings Frequently Asked Questions: The Pre- Proceedings Meeting

How is it different from other meetings?

It’s different because if you don’t agree any changes to how your child is looked after, the local authority is very likely to ask a court for permission to take your child into care.

Who will be there?

At the meeting, there will be several people from the local authority:

  • Your child’s social worker
  • The manager of your local authority’s children’s services
  • A local authority solicitor
  • Your solicitor should be there with you

You should not take your child to the meeting. Ask someone you trust to look after your child while you are at the meeting. If you cannot find anyone to look after your child, tell your local authority as soon as possible. They may be able to find someone to help.

What do I have to do in the meeting?

In the meeting, you will:

  • have to answer questions about the way you look after your child
  • be asked if you agree with the suggestions your local authority make about how to change the way you look after your child. You may prefer your solicitor to answer some of the questions for you. They can also say how you want to change the way you look after your child and any other ideas you think will help.

Try to keep calm and follow what is being said. It might be difficult but if you stick to the facts, you will help the meeting to focus on your child.

How can I prepare for the meeting?

Your local authority will normally send you and your solicitor an agenda for the meeting. This will say what the local authority wants to talk about. You can use this and the letter before proceedings to help be ready. Read carefully what your local authority has said in the letter about why they think your child is not being looked after properly or is out of control.

Check where the meeting is and what time you need to be there. Work out how you will get there in plenty of time, and who will look after your child during the meeting.

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