fbpx 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

206 Reviews

K S

During a worldwide pandemic Williamsons were superb, i was kept up to date with proceedings, costs, future expectations etc. Using all forms of communiction including Email, telephone, face to face, video chat the knowledge and expertise is second to none and i wouldn't hesitate to use again should i require. I would highly recommend Williamsons for any legal matters their professionalism and helpfulness made my case much smoother, together with the ability to pay stage by stage i cannot stress how great the service was, needless to say my case was resolved to my expectations. I would urge anyone to use Williamsons for legal advice an easy 5 stars with special mention to Paul, Karen and Claire for the service i received from them.

Ms L

I chose Theresa and Toni at Williamsons again for this property purchase because of the care, attention to detail and professionalism they demonstrated last year when I bought another property. I have received a marvellous service again and I feel confident that they will have carefully looked at every detail of the necessary documentation involved in the buying process. Geographically, Williamsons is a long way from the property I have just bought but firms like Williamsons are a rarity and worth seeking out. I thoroughly recommend this company.

Mr & M

Wet happy with the comprehensive and personal service Thank you

Mr and Mrs Betts

Excellent client service- professional and courteous. Thank you to Madeleine.

Anonymous

I chose Williamsons to act as my conveyancers and I have been super impressed with their professionalism and ethics to act on behalf of their client. My process was a long one, due to no fault on Williamsons part, but they never dropped the ball and continued to chase the other party until we got the answers we needed. I would choose them again in a heart beat and recommend their services.

Mr T W

Fantastic service from Williamsons Solicitors especially Rachael Scott who handled everything brilliantly from start to finish. Thank you

Mr Beevers

Happy with the work done on my behalf

Mrs T D

Hello, I had a lovely experience at Williamsons. Alison and Katie made everything really easy for me and were really helpful 2really nice people.

Anonymous

Brilliant service from Williamsons. Very efficient and quick responses to any questions or queries I had. Would highly recommend.

Anonymous

Excellent 5* service. We tragically lost our daughter and we found Williamsons Solicitors who guided us through all the claim process. They are extremely knowledgeable and professional with a personal style that made the journey more manageable. There communication is always prompt. Thoroughly recommend Wayne Walker.

A G

I can well recommend, I have received professional and honest service which lead to positive closure of the case. Always responded with care and fully involvement which gave me more confidence to continue. All advices during the progressing of the case was competent and mirrored current situation.

Mrs Hughes

The conveyancing team were excellent, extremely helpful and made sure that I felt valued at all times. A big thank you

Brian S

We would like to thank Gordon for his assistance and reassurance in dealing with the problem regarding the boundary hedge. His professionalism and manner are a credit to the company and we would certainly recommend him to friends.

Miss B

Beth Dyson and colleagues have been excellent during the purchase of my new house. Very responsive to email and phone queries, polite and professional, and the sale has been completed in 13 weeks from acceptance of the offer to completion. Given the current COVID-19 situation and how that has impacted on everyone, that's great. Thanks to everyone at Williamsons for making buying my new home so straightforward!

Miss S

Excellent service from Beth Dyson despite all the pressures of the Covid lockdown. Beth carried out conveyancing of my sale and purchase very thoroughly and efficiently with good communication and always in a helpful and friendly manner. Many thanks.

Joanna H

Well from the moment I met Wayne Walker his professionalism,clarity of thought, and aim to do the best job he can were all evident. He has been involved with my family for five years nearly and has always made me feel as though my views were relevant and integral to furthering the case. Wayne has highly developed organisational skills and we always felt just ‘looked after’ by Wayne snd Williamsons in getting through the very worst of times. Wayne sometimes needed to encourage me to look at things from a different perspective and he always achieved this with firm kindness. Wayne is a great professional but more importantly a fundamentally great human being. I will always recommend Williamsons and especially on the subject of clinical negligence I will always recommend Wayne. Full job well done start to finish. Thanks Wayne there are no words. Jo Hogg (Polly’s mum)

Anonymous

Williamsons Solicitors supported our family to succeed to a very high level. We cannot thank Sarah Jackson enough for her incredible support, dedication and commitment to understanding the finest detail of our case. Her dedication was phonememonal and we wouldn't hesitate to recommend her in a heartbeat. Thank you for bringing closure to our case and for supporting us one hundred percent. We were informed at every stage within the case and knew we were in safe professional hands throughout. Many thanks, Mr and Mrs Appleton.

Asoka T

Very professional and a friendly team, specially Helen Lennon who handled my case.

Carl R

I was very happy with the way they handled my case and still got the result even in these hard times where having at the moment thank you to all involved and I’d recommend you to others

Angie L

Williamsons solicitors were professional, caring and efficient. They dealt with what was, a very upsetting experience I had via medical negligence. They kept me up to date, enquired about my well-being and were always available to either speak to me when I had concerns or answered my emails. They ensured that the compensation I finally received was in my best interests by advising what they thought was a too low first offer of settlement. I cannot thank them enough for the way they handled my case and for pushing for a better higher settlement figure. I would definitely use them again should I ever be in a position to need them Thank you so much.

Suzanne W

Would definitely recommend this company, very knowledgeable on all aspects. Extremely helpful with a caring and kind approach, made me feel at ease and comfortable. I was always kept informed at every stage of my case Very happy and would 100% use them for any other matter if needed Thankyou