Children


Relationship breakdown can sometimes result in parents or grandparents and other family members losing contact with children. This can be an extremely difficult time for the whole family and we can help you to secure a child arrangement order relating to where children should live and arrangements for their contact with parents and other family members.

If you are not a parent you will need permission of the court to pursue an application, but permission will often be granted as it is presumed that children should be in touch with their extended family.  You may also need our help with regard to resolving issues relating to the welfare of your children such as where they go to school, medical treatment and religious issues.

We always put the child first and seek to resolve issues by negotiation or mediation wherever possible. However if an agreement cannot be reached then we will assert your position and apply to the Court for an appropriate Order. We will carefully and sensitively guide you through this process.

CHILDREN - CARE PROCEEDINGS

Social Services have a duty to take action where they have concerns about the care a parent is giving their child. That action can range from the provision of support and advice services, the establishment of a Child Protection Plan to monitor and assess the care given to the child, and even to an application for a Care Order with a view to removing the child from his or her parents’ care.

Those involved with Social Services often find the complex array of services, meetings and assessments difficult and confusing. Care Proceedings involve attendance at Court and often include assessments by experts such as psychologists and psychiatrists. The process is intensive and involves many professionals including the appointment of a solicitor and guardian for the children so that their best interests can be promoted separately from all the other interested parties.

Our team of specialist Family Solicitors have experience in dealing with all aspects of Social Services involvement in the family including Care Proceedings. As well as representing parents, our Children Panel Solicitors represent and advise children and young people directly offering them advice on their rights and ensuring that their views are known by the Court and the other adults involved.

We deal with all matters in a sensitive and understanding way focusing on the welfare of the
children involved at all times. We will guide and advise you through the process of dealing with Social Services and the Courts. We can often advise at short notice if you have been given notice of Court Proceedings or the sudden involvement of Social Services.

If you are a parent of (or have parental responsibility for) a child who is the subject of care proceedings, you will automatically qualify for Legal Aid which means that you can have legal representation without having to pay anything. This free legal advice also covers advice prior to the issue of Court Proceedings if you have received notice from Social Services that they plan to take matters to Court.

 

Key Contacts


Kathryn Locke

Partner

Head of Family Care Team

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Rebecca Scammell

Partner

Family Care Team

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Claire Webb

Solicitor

Family Care Team

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Michelle Bowyer

Solicitor

Family Team

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Heather Reilly

Solicitor

Family Team

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Michelle Godwin

Trainee Legal Executive

Family Care Team

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Emily Clayton

Trainee Legal Executive

Family Care Team

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