Established in 1982, at Brendan Fleming Solicitors we specialise in Family Law, offering our clients expert legal advice in both Public and Private Law matters, including Care Proceedings, Non-Accidental Injury, Divorce & Children’s Proceedings and issues with Social Services.

 

Contact Brendan Fleming Solicitors by emailing info@brendanfleming.co.uk or by calling 0800 246 5147

 

Contact our Non-Accidental Injury Department on 0800 246 5147 or 07730 143 432. If it is out of hours, you can call our staffed 24 hour helpline on 0121 683 5000. Alternatively you can email us on help@nonaccidentalinjury.co.uk

Our Location

165 Newhall Street
St. Paul’s Square
Birmingham B3 1SW

 

0800 246 5147

 

info@brendanfleming.co.uk

 

Care Proceedings

Care Proceedings Department

Here at Brendan Fleming Solicitors we are proud of our team of dedicated and specially trained fee earners who will provide a professional and friendly service throughout, and  our team will be understanding of the difficult situation you may find yourself in. 
At Brendan Fleming Solicitors we offer a first class legal service where we ensure that every client, regardless of their situation, is our priority.  Our approach is tailored to your needs we will work to resolve your case in in a thorough, yet efficient manner.

If the local authority is involved with your family,  we are able to offer you detailed guidance as to the legal process that must be followed by everyone concerned

 

The parents & families we help contact us because they are terrified that they are going to have their children taken away. They are frightened and many do not understand what their rights are and what they, as parents, can or can’t do.

Social Services have often already become involved with the families that contact us and this could be for many reasons. Typical reasons why Social Services become involved are:

  • Drug & Alcohol dependencies / misuse
  • Domestic Abuse
  • Allegations of emotional or physical harm
  • Death of a Child
  • Sexual Abuse
  • School Attendance
  • Neglect of a child
  • During pregnancies when previous children have been removed from a parent’s care

 

These are a just a few examples why Social Services might be involved with your family, there are many, many more.

If a Social Services (known as the Local Authority) think that a child is at risk of harm or neglect, it will take action. It is the legal duty of social services to “safeguard, protect and promote the welfare of children” in their area.

The different types of “action” a Local Authority can take varies, but can include the following:

Pre-Proceedings (also known as a letter before proceedings or PLO Meeting)

You will be sent a letter inviting you to a meeting to discuss the concerns that the Local Authority have. If you have received a pre-proceedings letter, contact us immediately to discuss your free legal aid and to arrange for us to represent you.  

Police Protection

The Police have powers to protect children for up to 72 hours only. This is where children are removed from their parents/family and usually placed into Local Authority Care.  It is essential you contact us if this has happened because if the Local Authority do not agree to allow the children to be returned to your care, they will have to apply to Court to get a Court Order (unless you or a person with parental responsibility agrees to the children remaining in Local Authority Care; this is a Section 20 agreement)

Application for an Interim Care Order (start of Care Proceedings Proceedings)

This is where the Local Authority apply to Court for an order for your child(ren). The case, known as care proceedings, will usually last 26 weeks. The Local Authority can apply for this order at any time if they think they have reasonable grounds to believe that your child(ren) are/is suffering significant harm or would be likely to suffer significant harm if an order was not made.

“Harm” can be physical, emotional or sexual harm and this also covers cases of neglect. The harm, or likelihood of harm, has to be as a result of the child(ren) receiving an inadequate level of care, or as a result of the child being beyond parental control.  If the court finds that the grounds are met for an interim care order the court should only make an order if it is also satisfied that it is in the child’s best interests and that it is proportionate in the circumstance

If an interim care order is granted, this is a temporary care order which gives the local authority parental responsibility for the child(ren) which they then share with the biological parents or those who have parental responsible for a child/ren. This means the local authority can decide things which relate to the child/ren whilst the court proceedings are continuing, this includes where a child should live.  The local authority should consult all those with parental responsibility and keep them fully up to date with information.

Section 20 (also known as voluntary care)

If you are a parent or person with parental responsibility and have been encouraged unfairly to agree to a section 20 (also known as voluntary care), please contact us to discuss your options and how we can help

Emergency Protection Order (EPO)

The Local Authority can apply for an EPO in emergency situations where they believe the risk of harm is imminent. These orders are obtained from the court to ensure the short-term safety of a child/ren. These orders, if made by the Court, can last up to 8 days.

If you have been given urgent notice of an EPO and are a parent or person with Parental Responsibility contact us immediately to discuss your free legal aid and to arrange urgent representation.   If your child(ren) are currently subject to an EPO, contact immediately to discuss how we can help.

If you are a parent or person with Parental Responsibility and have been threatened with Care Proceedings or have been served with court papers for Care Proceedings, call us immediately to discuss your free legal aid and to arrange for us to represent you.

 

If you are concerned that any of the above are about to happen, or are happening now and you need legal advice, we want to help. Contact us today, confidentially either by phone or email.

 

We currently represent hundreds of families all over England & Wales

We have a large team who specialise in all aspects of the law relating to children including:

  • Opposing adoption
  • The public law pre-proceedings process
  • Applications for contact with children in care
  • Applications to discharge a Care Order
  • Applications to revoke a Placement Order
  • Care proceedings (including Emergency Protection Orders)
  • Special Guardianship Orders
  • Surrogacy proceedings
  • Appeals
  • Private law applications under the Children Act 1989
  • Parental responsibility

Care Proceedings Department

Representation of Children

Within Public Law Proceedings (i.e. Court proceedings involving the local authority) a solicitor will be appointed to represent the interests of the children. Sometimes this also happens in Private Law Proceedings (i.e. applications which may include Child Arrangement Orders, Special Guardianship Orders). The solicitor will normally work alongside a CAFCASS Guardian to  assist and advise the Court in making decisions for the children. They will look at everything from the child’s point of view rather than that of the local authority or parents, and make recommendations to the Court  as to what is in each child’s best interests.

Sometimes, if the child is old enough and has a good understanding of the proceedings, the solicitor may take their instructions directly from the child. This is on a strictly case-by-case and is a decision that the child’s solicitor and Guardian may make themselves.

Our Care Department

Here at Brendan Fleming Solicitors we are proud of our team of dedicated and specially trained fee earners who will provide a professional and friendly service throughout, and  our team will be understanding of the difficult situation you may find yourself in.
At Brendan Fleming Solicitors we offer a first class legal service where we ensure that every client, regardless of their situation, is our priority.  Our approach is tailored to your needs we will work to resolve your case in in a thorough, yet efficient manner.

If the local authority is involved with your family,  we are able to offer you detailed guidance as to the legal process that must be followed by everyone concerned.

Contact Us In Confidence

Arrange a consultation – 0800 246 5147. Or email us at info@brendanfleming.co.uk