What is a PLO or PPM Meeting?
A PLO (Public law outline meeting) or PPM (Pre-Proceedings Meeting) is a meeting called by the Local Authority when they have concerns surrounding your care of your child/children. The meeting is an opportunity for the Local Authority to make you aware of the concerns they have about your child/children. The meeting is supposed to give you an opportunity to make improvements to your parenting so that your child/children is safeguarded. The Local Authority should make it clear in the meeting that if they do not think sufficient improvements are made one of the possible outcomes is for them to make an application to the court. These type of court proceedings are called ‘Care Proceedings’.
The meeting will be attended by a social work team manager or consultant social worker, allocated social worker and a Local Authority solicitor. As a parent, you will be invited to attend the meeting with your legal representative. The Local Authority might arrange a separate meeting for each parent if the parents are no longer together. At the meeting, the social worker will give an outline of the concerns the Local Authority has and will set a time for any assessments they feel are necessary. This will usually include a parenting assessment and could also include a psychological evaluation, drug and alcohol testing, and assessments of alternative carers. Alternative carers are any family members or friends who might be able to look after your child/children if you cannot. Often the Local Authority will ask you to sign a schedule of expectations setting out what assessments they would like, you to undertake and what support they will provide. A date will also be set for a review meeting where your progress will be discussed.
The outcome of the PLO or PPM process could be:
- The Local Authority ends its involvement with your family due to positive progress;
- The Local Authority asks for a further period of assessment and support; or
- The Local Authority makes an application to the court.
Do I have to pay for representation at a PLO or PPM meeting?
If you are a parent of the child/children or are a person who has parental responsibility, you will be entitled to legal aid whatever your financial circumstances. You will not have to pay for representation at either meeting.
If you have received a letter from the Local Authority inviting you to attend a PLO or PPM, then please telephone us immediately and speak to one of our experienced family solicitors.
Contact our experts for further advice