We are delighted to announce that Watkins Solicitors are in the process of becoming a dementia-friendly law firm, starting in January 2018. We are now members of the South Gloucestershire and Bristol Dementia Action Alliance, and planning to extend this in Bath where we have recently opened a new office...
Disputes with Social Services and Care Proceedings
Child Care law is the area of law concerning children about whom the Social Services are concerned. In the vast majority of cases, Social Services’ concerns do not lead to court proceedings. Social Services may form the view that the child is a “child in need” or they may hold a Child Protection Meeting.
We can assist parents in these circumstances and can provide advice and assistance which may help parents to take action which avoids the Social Services from taking further action or becoming further involved in their family life.
You may not agree that the social services department needs to be involved in your child’s life, but the the department has a right to take what action it considers appropriate.
Social Services cannot take a child from your care unless they have a court order. They have to prove to the court that the child is at risk of suffering or has suffered significant harm as a result of the parenting that that child has received not being that which a reasonable parent would give the child.
If Social Services commence court proceedings, we can represent you. As a Parent you will automatically obtain Legal Aid for this type of case.
Whether you are involved in court proceedings or whether the social services department has called a case conference, you may feel overwhelmed and at a loss to know how to proceed. Neither is a happy position to find yourself in. We can give you advice and assistance. We have vast experience of dealing with families from different cultures and backgrounds as well as those with special needs. We have experience in dealing with the police and Local Authorities, when they exercise their protective powers, including emergency protection orders, care and supervision orders, and secure accommodation orders.
We can assist parents whose children are in voluntary care or who have been served with notice of intention to commence care proceedings by the Local Authority.
We also act for parents and family members in applications for Special Guardianship orders, placement orders, discharge of care orders and secure accommodation orders.
We have experienced staff who will support and advise you through this difficult time.
If a Local Authority has expressed concern about your care of a child do not hesitate to contact us. The faster you act the better!