Care Proceedings and contact with children in care

We have a range of experienced solicitors who can advise and represent you when you face social services involvement in your family and/or are worried about your children being removed from your care. We represent parents and family members in care proceedings.

Many of our solicitors are members of a specialist panel called the Children Panel which enables them to represent children in care proceedings by working with Guardians. Our solicitors try to, where possible, represent you in court so you have a familiar face at court rather than someone you have not met before.

We offer a sympathetic and professional service, providing you with information, discussing options and working with you and your family. We will ensure that either a solicitor or their paralegal can accompany you to meetings organised about your child’s future by social services (called PLO or pre-proceedings meetings).

We offer advice and representation in the following areas of family law:

  • Care proceedings
  • Discharge of care proceedings
  • Adoption
  • Special Guardianship Orders
  • Fostering children
  • Contact with a child who is in care

To speak to one of our family law solicitors today then please ring 0208 680 5018 or contact your local Atkins Hope office in Croydon, Medway or Blackheath. Alternatively, please fill in our simple online enquiry form and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.

Our child care law expertise

When it comes to your children, our priority is to provide the highest quality of legal advice and support to give you the best possible chance of achieving a positive outcome.

Our child care solicitors have a wide range of expertise across all family law matters involving children. Social services involvement in your family is rarely simple and stress-free; however, with our guidance, we hope to resolve your matter as swiftly as possible.

It is understandable to react to social services involvement in anger and disbelief. However, many public children law cases can be resolved by engaging well with the local authority. We will help you gain insight into the way these legal processes work and advise on the best way to approach your case.

We will keep the happiness and welfare of your children at our hearts at all times and we will fight vigorously to promote your rights. We represent parents, grandparents, other relatives, and children throughout proceedings and our team includes 7 accredited children law specialists:

Legal aid is always available where your child is subject to care or supervision proceedings. This means you may be eligible for funding regardless of your personal circumstances. We also offer competitive fixed fees where necessary to help you budget for your legal needs. To discuss your payment options, get in touch with our solicitors in Croydon, Medway or Blackheath.

Our services include:

Care proceedings

Our child care solicitors will provide advice and representation at all stages of care proceedings and our expertise includes:

  • Pre-proceedings meetings
  • Care Orders
  • Supervision Orders
  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • Child protection conferences

Every family is different so we will carefully tailor our approach to your case to meet your individual needs. We are always sensitive but practical and we will explain your options clearly so you can make an informed decision about how best to proceed. We will also provide robust representation in court to defend your rights and your children’s rights.

Discharge of care proceedings

If a Care Order or Supervision Order is made in respect of your child, we can provide professional support and guidance to help you turn the situation around and hopefully get the care proceedings discharged.

The courts will always make decisions based on the best interests of your children and they are fully aware that circumstances can change. We can help you prepare an application to discharge a Care Order and guide you through the legal aid process (if necessary).   

Adoption

We provide advice on all adoption matters where the child concerned is subject to care proceedings. This can be a distressing time for parents, children, and prospective adopters alike, so we will use our professional knowledge and sensitive approach to try and resolve the matter as efficiently and positively as possible.

Before a child is formally adopted, social services must obtain a Placement Order to place a child in care with prospective adopters. These proceedings are not taken lightly by anyone involved and careful assessment will be undertaken to review your family’s circumstances.

We will be by your side throughout the process, working closely with social services and your child’s representatives to promote your rights and their welfare and happiness. We can also defend you during any formal legal proceedings.

Special Guardianship Orders

A Special Guardianship Order secures the long term placement of a child with someone who is not their parent. We can help you make an application for an Order in various circumstances, including:

  • You are the child’s relative and they have lived with you for at least one year
  • The child has lived with you for three out of the last five years, with no gaps of longer than three months
  • You are the child’s guardian
  • You are a local authority foster carer and the child has lived with you for at least one year
  • The child is in care and the local authority consents to your applications

We can also help people who do not fit into these categories as you may be able to obtain court permission to make an application.

Fostering children

Fostering a child is a selfless and rewarding endeavour. We provide advice and professional support to foster carers and prospective foster carers in relation to matter such as:

  • The law relating to fostering children
  • The assessment and registration process
  • Applying for a Special Guardianship Order in respect of a child you foster

Contact with a child in care

It is the law that the local authority must allow “reasonable contact” with a child’s parents as well as a general duty to pursue contact with other family members such as siblings and grandparents.

Contact can take place in many forms, including supervised contact, contact in public places, phone contact, and overnight stays. We will discuss your expectations for contact with you and help you engage with social services. We can also apply to court for contact on your behalf, ensuring to promote your interests and the interests of your child throughout.

Get in touch with our family law solicitors today

To speak to one of our family law solicitors today then please ring 0208 680 5018 or contact your local Atkins Hope office in Croydon, Medway or Blackheath. Alternatively, please fill in our simple online enquiry form and a member of our team will be in touch shortly.