Social Services and care proceedings
If social services become involved in your family that can very distressing. They may have concerns about non-accidental injuries to your children, drug misuse, alcohol misuse, domestic abuse or neglect (to name but a few).
Local Authority Children’s Services may be seeking to take your children into foster care, place them with another family member or even ask the court to sanction their adoption.
Although a worrying time, help is at hand and we can help you to navigate these difficult waters and make sense of what is going on.
We can advise you throughout the procedure as to how to deal with these matters most appropriately and how to interact with Social Services and other professionals.
We will advise you as to the law, how it applies to your situation and what you can do to improve your position.
The local authority involvement may start a long time before the case goes to court and contacting us as soon as possible may save stress and heartache in the longer term.
When instructing a firm, you should look for a specialist – the Law Society have a rigorous procedure for approving experts in this field – called the Law Society’s Children’s Panel. You should ensure that whoever you use, the firm has a solicitor with this high qualification.
Where social services are involved, legal aid is available for:
- advice for Child Protection Conferences – the first and early stage of their involvement.
- Advice, assistance and representation at Legal Planning Meetings (also known as PLO meetings) – which take place when the Local Authority are considering going to court and have to tell you what is required of you to avoid this.
- Court proceedings (known as care proceedings).
Legal Aid for the first of these is subject to your income and capital being below a certain level, but there is no financial test required for the last two – it is automatically granted without cost to you, no matter how well off or poor, the government will cover your legal costs.
We are one of only two firms in the Abergavenny and Crickhowell area that offer legal aid.
Our team is led by Huw Medlicott, a member of the Law Society’s Children Panel. He has decades of experience of achieving the best outcome for client’s and their families. He specialises in cases involving children, particularly where there are serious safeguarding issues and Social Services have become involved.
Please contact us on 01873 852535 for more information.