Skip to main content
CALL US: 01482 323 697
Family & Childcare
Family & Childcare Badge
Family & Childcare

Care proceedings

Care proceedings

When Social Services become involved with you and your family, we understand that you may feel upset and angry or that no one is listening to you.  Our sympathetic and caring Family Department will guide you through this difficult time and ensure that you are always aware of the decisions that the Court can make in these situations.

Why do Social Services get involved?

The Social Services Department in your Local Authority is responsible for making sure that all children are safe and well cared for by their parents.  They sometimes receive information from a third party that makes them worried about a child’s welfare.  If they believe that your children may be at risk of suffering harm they have a duty to take action to protect them.  They must obtain the Court’s permission to take any action that you do not agree with.

Does there always have to be Care Proceedings?

No.  Social Services may sometimes call a meeting called a Child Protection Case Conference before applying to the Court.  This meeting will consider whether your children can be properly cared for without a Care Order being made, this could be by providing you and your family with support services.  At the meeting all agencies and professionals involved with you and your children will be invited to attend.

Public Law Outline Meeting

Social Services may also call a public law outline (PLO) meeting where they will outline their concerns and advise on possible legal action in respect of your child.  The meeting is important and you must ask a solicitor to attend with you.  Legal aid is available for us to attend that meeting.  If you do nothing the local authority is likely to go to Court, but there may be ways that Court can be avoided and it is important that you, with your solicitors (us), cooperate with the professionals involved to try and avoid social services taking matters further.

What happens during Care Proceedings?

If the Social Services feel that your children are suffering serious harm or are likely to suffer serious harm they can apply to the Court for what is known as a ‘Care Order’.  If you are not told they are going to start Care Proceedings then you will find out when you receive a notice form from the Court telling you when and where the first Court hearing will be.

The Local Authority will apply to the Court for a Care Order on the grounds that your children have suffered serious harm or are at risk of suffering serious harm in the future, because the care you have given to your children is not what it would be reasonable to expect a parent to give.

Care Proceedings are started in the Family Proceedings Court and are governed by guidelines, which are meant to ensure that cases are dealt with fairly and without unnecessary delay.  Care proceedings should be dealt with within 26 weeks of the Local Authority asking the Court for an Order, unless the case is very complicated.

At the first hearing the Court will not make a final decision about the Local Authority’s application for a care order.  At this hearing the Court must decide whether to make an interim order which will say where and with who your children should live until an issues resolution or final hearing takes place; appoint a children’s guardian and a solicitor to represent your children in the proceedings; decide if the case should be transferred to another court; and decide how the case should be prepared for the final hearing.

What will happen if the Local Authority is worried about a child?

The Court can only make an Interim Care Order (ICO) if it decides that there are good reasons to believe that your children have been seriously harmed or are likely to suffer significant harm and that an ICO is your children’s best interests.

An ICO means that the Local Authority share parental responsibility for your children with you.  This includes the power to decide where the children live, even if you do not agree with this decision.

What happens when the Interim care order has been made?

After the ICO has been made there will be a series of interim hearings where the Court will continue to look at:

  • Where your children live
  • Who your children see
  • How the case will proceed

The Social Worker will discuss with you the care plan in relation to your children and this must take into account your child’s racial, cultural and religious heritage.  We are here to discuss with you any disagreements you have about the care plan.  If you feel that any alternative family members could care for your children it is important that you inform the Social Worker and discuss this with your solicitor.

Throughout the proceedings there will be numerous statements and reports filed at the Court with all the parties.  We can go through the papers with you and help you to make a statement.  In some cases the Court will believe it is important that an expert also provides a report and this means that you may be asked to undertake an assessment or attend an appointment at a hospital to see a specialist.

In preparation for the issues resolution hearing or final hearing the Court will have read all of the papers in the case and you will be represented by the solicitor who has dealt with your case.  We offer you the benefit of the same solicitor dealing with the case throughout so they are experienced with your situation and will help you to achieve the best outcome possible.

W

Get in touch:
Contact Us Back to top
Read some reviews from our clients

4.89 Average

112 Reviews

Anonymous

Friendly, fast and efficient. Sale of property went very well.

Anonymous

I have nothing but praise for Gordon Sewell at the Hull office. He conducted my unusual and difficult civil case with great care and understanding. Gordon also injected the right amount of sympathy for my plight without being unprofessional. I would recommend him to anyone needing a clued up civil litigation lawyer.

Richard K

very helpful and efficient. thanks to all

Peter R

Mr Nick Gray was assigned my enquiry and worked with me throughout. He made himself available at all times and was always supportive to me on numerous occasions when I found myself unsure and admittedly nervous. He never let me down. I believe his advice was always good and I relied on it throughout. I think the award was the best I could have obtained and in conclusion I can honestly say that I am happy. The other contact I have had over the years was your receptionist, the face of your company. I was always greeted with a smile and the offer of a cup of coffee. On the occasions I visited your Hull office I was always made to feel important. Thank you.

Anonymous

Professional and courteous team. Recommend highly.

Gareth M

I’ve rated my experience with Williamson’s solicitors as excellent. My case was handled by Mr. Gordon Sewell. Mr. Sewell was very quick to get to work on my case, as was necessary at the time. Everything he did for me was thorough and made sure I had every chance in my case. Everything Mr Sewell did for me turned out a success and I couldn’t have been happy with the way he dealt with myself, could communicated with myself and dealt with the case in its entirety. I wouldn’t hesitate to use Williamson’s solicitors again should I require it and would recommend their services to anyone. In fact, I already have since my experience! Thanks again Gordon.

Dom W

Recently used Williamsons Solicitors as part of a remortgage and some other matters. Can't fault their service at all. Carey dealt with my file and was polite, professional and informative from beginning to end. Always kept me up to speed with progress. I would highly recommend them.

Mrs Margaret W

Excellent service with a friendly face

Mr Martin a

Was very happy with the service given by Williamsons solicitors who dealt with the probate of a friends will and also the selling of her property. Especially Diane Ramsden whose help was invaluable.

Anonymous

Williamsons took on my case following the collapse of another Hull legal practice. Despite them having to pick up a large amount of work already completed by others, they worked tirelessly to ensure the correct outcome for me. I cannot recommend this company highly enough, they go above and beyond the norm to make sure their clients are treated fairly.

Anonymous

We used Williamsons for selling and buying a property, we found Jane Cousins and her assistant Sam Pollard to be pleasant, professional and efficient. Lisa on reception downstairs was particularly helpful and polite. Thank you to you all.

Mr J G

Avery good service with very professional and knowledgeable staff.

Anonymous

Brilliant, thank you for helping me make this process easier.

Mr G B

I would recommend Williamson’s to any potential client. From the onset I was supported throughout a very difficult conveyance and my solicitor was very professional at all times. It is advisable to engage the services of a local company and not one advised by online estate agencies. Very competitive pricing too. Thank you Williamson’s.

Mr and Mrs Overall

Very helpful quick excellent service Have dealt with both Jenny Holloway and Emma Hudson in the past and on each occasion have found them both excellent and would recommend them both to any future clients Thank you once again for your excellent professional service

Mr C P

Brilliant communication and a first class effort despite a Rocky move, Jenny and Emma at the Hull city centre branch where fantastic.

Ms A

Very helpful and attentive, would definitely recommend Samantha/Jane of Williamsons sollicitors

Sue L

Our solicitor Carey Robinson was at all times helpful and professional, nothing was too much trouble. I would not hesitate to recommend her to friends and family.

Barbara C

I have used Williamsons Solicitors twice this year - for obtaining probate and for the sale of a leasehold flat and on both occasions I have found Williamsons to be extremely efficient and speedy. They were very knowledgeable and kept me well informed at all times. Any queries I had were answered promptly and all advice given was accurate and most helpful. I would not hesitate to recommend Williamsons to anyone in need of a first class, reliable and customer friendly solicitor. Thank you for making a traumatic situation as stress free as possible.

Mrs B O

Very apprehensive at the start. From the first contact with Williamsons they were reassuring. Kept up tpdate with the whole process , guided and informed from the start. Pleased with the outcome and my special thanks especially to Mr. Smith and his team Betty Osborn.

Mr Neil P

Great service and always kept up to date with everything, felt i was given the personal touch and not just a client, I used Williamsons to sort out my late fathers estate in which he left in such a mess, and also the sale of a house I will recommend to others and certainly use again Thanks Neil x

.