Where they have a concern over the welfare of your child, what is the Social Services Child Protection procedure that must be followed?
Social services do not have the power to take your children away without a correct and legally issued Court Order.
The only individuals who can take a child from their parents in the absence of such a court order are the police under the police protection provisions. This is often referred to as a police protection order but there is, in fact, no order involved. This only occurs where officers have to act on their own initiative as there is reasonable cause to believe that the child would otherwise be likely to suffer significant harm.
How Does Social Services Child Protection Procedure Play Out?
Following a referral to social services, the procedure by which your case must be pursued is:
They will make an initial assessment to decide if there is any situation in need of address. This assessment should take no more than a number of days.
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Should their initial assessment give rise to serious concerns over the safety or welfare of a child or children, the next step to be undertaken is a Section 47 enquiry. This represents a full investigation of your home and family life and is only undertaken where there is reasonable cause to believe that a child or children living in that home may be at risk of significant harm.
You and your partner will be interviewed. The child will be seen, but will only undergo a formal interview where their age and level of comprehension allow, and where circumstances dictate that this is necessary. You and you child, if older, may be asked to consent to medical examination by a GP. Other information may be gathered from teachers, your GP, etc.
The results of this enquiry will be used to determine what further action is necessary to safeguard the child and promote his or her welfare.
If the outcome is that there is no real cause for concern, there will be no further action. Where it is felt that the risk of significant harm to the child is very real, a child protection case conference will be called.
The child protection conference is a meeting to assess all information with regard to the case and to coordinate with various agencies a plan to safeguard the child and promote his or her welfare.
You should attend this meeting and you should do so accompanied by your care proceedings solicitor will provide support, advice and explanations as well as speaking on your behalf if necessary.
It is at this meeting that it will be decided whether or not the child is at risk of significant harm and whether a formal child protection plan should be put in place.
If it is decided a formal child protection plan is needed, there will be a record of the agreements made and a detailed statement of the protection services to be provided will be given to the parents and the professionals as a Child Protection Plan.
A formal child protection plan will be continued for as long as it is deemed necessary, as determined at child protection review meetings, held every six months.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 are fighting social services for your child and need a Care Proceedings Solicitor to help you, contact Brendan Fleming today.