If social services have contacted you or a family member regarding child care proceedings, you must get legal advice urgently. Even if you do not attend scheduled meetings or court hearings, social services can make important decisions about your family’s future.
At Stowe Family Law, our social service solicitors regularly support families in this situation. We can contact social services on your behalf, attend any scheduled meetings and advise you regarding correspondence, reports or agreements you are asked to sign.
Our specialist children lawyers understand this cmplex legal situation and can advise you on your options and their impact, and will be on hand to support you in a caring and empathetic manner.
If social services decide to start care proceedings in the court, there will be several hearings, including case management and issues resolution, to see if an agreement can be reached.
If not, there will usually be a final hearing where long-term decisions are made about your child’s future, who they will live with and what court order is best.
There are several final orders that the court can make:
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Unless the police have been forced to intervene and use their emergency powers to protect a child, removal of children from your care by social services must be approved by a court or in agreement with the child’s family.
This means that evidence must have been provided to back up any claims that a child is at risk and that a court has decided that the child or children are to be removed from your care.
As prescribed by the children and families act 2014, care proceedings should conclude within a 26-week period. The uncertainty surrounding child care proceeding cases can be harmful and distressing to children and their families alike.
Each case will be unique and there are varying degrees of severity to be taken into consideration. In certain exception circumstances, care proceedings can be extended but it is not a common occurrence. Our care proceedings solicitors will support you through the process to try to resolve the situation in the given time frame.