Child Care Solicitors in Bedford

Long residence application
Legally reviewed by: Jonathan Pollard

Cartwright King is a Legal 500 law firm offering specialist child care soliciting services in and around Bedford and nearby areas as well as throughout the UK. Our experienced team of child care solicitors are highly-trained in all aspects of child care law. With a Cartwright King solicitor onboard, your case is in very capable hands, all of our solicitors work effectively to ensure your case is resolved as timely as possible.

Whether you find yourself fighting for the custody of your children, or maybe you are a grandparent or stepparent looking to qualify for a Special Guardianship Order (SGO), our solicitors can support your case. No matter your advanced family law or child law needs, they can provide you with the expertise you require that give you the best chance of a successful case.

To ensure cases can be concluded as quickly as possible, and emotional distress is minimal, our child care lawyers are highly experienced working under pressure to deliver on multiple deadlines. Whether this requires remote video meetings or over the phone legal advice, they can make themselves available wherever you are based. If Bedford is accessible to you, you are more than welcome to come in and meet our child care solicitors in person.

Get in touch with our Bedford team on 03458 941 622 03458 941 622or fill out our online enquiry form to schedule your FREE, no-obligation telephone consultation with a child care solicitor.

What to Expect During Child Care Proceedings and Hearings

Most child care proceedings and hearings begin with the pre-proceedings process. After the parents have been contacted in writing and a pre-proceedings meeting has been arranged with social services, steps can be made to improve the level of care a child receives without going to court. Our child care solicitors can support you during your pre-proceedings meeting ensuring you understand exactly what you are agreeing to throughout the process.

A child care proceeding or ‘public law’ case follows when the local authority still feels a child’s safety is at risk. With an experienced solicitor by your side, they will be able to inform you on each step, preparing and collating any documentary evidence that is requested. They will also be in a strong position to represent you and prepare an appeal if this is necessary. It is worth remembering that child care proceedings are often seen as the last attempt and follow previous unsuccessful attempts working through the Public Law Outline Procedure.

There may be instances when children are deemed in serious danger. When a Local Authority is significantly concerned the police will also be involved. The police can remove a child from their home for up to 72 hours using their police protective powers. In other extreme cases, a child can be removed for 8 days when an Emergency Protection Order is issued. Our solicitors can provide all the necessary legal guidance in these traumatic instances, treating your situation with the utmost discretion and respect.

Children are only removed from the home environment by the police; in most circumstances, children will only be removed as a last resort after a complex court case and with a court order. During child care proceedings, the following hearings will be carried out:

  • Case Management Hearing – this introductory hearing is simply to determine how and when the case will be discussed.
  • Contested Removal Hearing – in proceedings where the social services are suggesting the removal of a child from their home address, a parent or guardian has the opportunity to protest this decision. The Contested Removal Hearing will follow to help resolve where the child should live during the case.
  • Issues Resolution Hearing – this hearing allows all parties to state what they think should happen, while assessments are carried out. The hearing goes on to assess any issues that are brought to attention. Our Bedford child care solicitors can deliver your appeal, giving you the best chance of keeping your child at home.
  • Final Hearing – if the Issues Resolution Hearing cannot decide on a resolution, a Final Hearing is arranged to hear all the evidence and arguments again.

Arrange your Free, No-Obligation Consultation

At Cartwright King, our child care solicitors understand that to be able to trust them, you need to get to know them. Trust is crucial in appointing a legal advisor and to help you make your decision, we offer our prospective clients the chance to converse with one of our child care professionals.

During your FREE, introductory telephone consultation, we will:

  • Look to discover more about you and your case
  • Discuss your child care situation
  • Talk through the available options relating to you

To stress, this is a free, complimentary conversation that will remain entirely confidential. During such a discussion, we aim to provide you with an insight into our practices here at Cartwright King. You will be able to evaluate whether we are the right solicitor’s firm for you. There is no obligation to continue with our expertise, the decision is up to you.

*Please note that this conversation is purely on a “get to know you” basis and, therefore, will not contain any detailed legal advice or legal strategy.

Why Choose Cartwright King?

If you need our expertise, we can help. Regardless of the complexity, our child care solicitors are able to provide insightful legal advice to help resolve your proceedings successfully and professionally. By committing to Cartwright King, you will gain access to Legal 500 lawyers. We have received accreditation from the Law Society for our professionalism in handling advanced family law and children’s law orders.

In addition, we are highly regarded for our Court of Protection, Mental Health and Child Care departments. We know that child care cases come with heightened emotions for both parents, potential guardians and, of course, the children involved. That is why, both your and the children’s welfare remain at the forefront of our minds throughout the cases we take on.

Our Mental Health Team were recently shortlisted for the ‘Legal Aid Team of the Year 2021’ award, and we are extremely proud of their achievement. During Care and Supervision Orders or Public Law Cases, our child care solicitors will handle your legal proceedings whilst providing you with the support you need.

At our firm, confidentiality and sensitivity come hand-in-hand, as we understand the emotional strain of these cases. Therefore, our child care solicitors always work responsibly, responding timely to your correspondence and treating every client with respect throughout the process.

Child Care Solicitors Fees

When the future and stability of your child is shroud in uncertainty, the need for quality legal representation is crucial. At Cartwright King, we believe everyone should be able to access this standard of solicitors when they need them most. This is why we provide an honest pricing structure for our child care soliciting services.

Our Bedford Office

The address is: Bedford Heights, Brickhill Drive, Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK41 7PH

  • 16 minute bus from Bedford train station with number 6 bus stop directly outside of the office.

We're here for you.

Frequently asked questions.

Can social services take my children away?

The Local Authority’s social services department has a duty of care towards all children. If they believe a child is at risk or has received inadequate care, they can intervene. The preferred solution is to keep families together; however, in some circumstances, this may not be possible.

Social services cannot simply take away your children, for this to be considered there must be one of two factors. The first is a Court Order and the second is the agreement of the children’s parents. If you have received notification that an application to remove your child/children has been made, get in touch with a child care solicitor to gain legal representation and advice on how best to proceed.

Children can only be removed from their family home for up to 72 hours when the safety of the child is questioned and the police are involved. This process is possible due to police protection powers, such as a ‘public law’ case.

What is the pre-proceeding process?

The Public Law Outline is the government’s legal structure for care proceedings, including the pre-proceedings process. What this means is that all social service departments must follow the same protocol when raising concerns about a child’s level of care. The only time this practice will not be followed is during very extreme circumstances.

The pre-proceedings process aims to inform all relevant parties about the Local Authority’s concerns, and the changes they would like to see. It allows parents to make the necessary alterations, while social services assess the needs of the child and their family. During this phase, the wider family and friends network will be explored to see if any additional support can be provided.

When this line of action is taken, the social services must send the parents, and anyone else with parental responsibility, a letter indicating the start of the pre-proceedings process. This correspondence is often followed up by a meeting where a plan of action is agreed upon for the next 12 weeks. The pre-proceedings process aims to avoid escalating the concerns in court. Therefore, as a parent or guardian, you are expected to have a child care solicitor present.

Can I get my child back if it has been placed in foster care?

It is possible to appeal against the decision to the conclusion of your child’s care proceedings. If the court has recommended for your child to be placed into foster care, your next course of action is to apply to discharge the care order.

How long do child care proceedings take?

Child care proceedings, once the initial application has been submitted, aim to be resolved within 6 months (24 weeks). However, these timings are very case dependent.

What types of child care orders should I know about in child care proceedings?

If a Local Authority still has concerns about a child’s level of care after the pre-proceedings process, the care proceedings will advance to court. At the end of the court care, the Judge can insist on one of four different child care orders to be actioned. They will decide between:

  • Supervision Orders – these decisions see the children and parents supported by the Local Authority for 12 months. Social services will advise and assist in the child’s care; however, it does allow the family to remain together. Supervision Orders can be extended for two more years if the Local Authority deems it necessary.
  • Special Guardianship Orders – this ruling sees the children cared for by Special Guardians, such as family members. As guardians, they gain parental responsibility and will have the say in matters concerning the children’s welfare.
  • Care Orders – when a Care Order is implemented, the children’s care is handed over to social services. This responsibility will include all matters concerning their education and health. The parents will still have some input, but the daily decisions are made by the authority. In these rulings, the children will live with a foster family or another family member.
  • Placement Orders – these orders are insisted to support a Care Order. This decision will begin a process to look for an appropriate adoptive family for the children to permanently reside.
  • Interim Care Orders – these orders are only applicable for an outlined period of time. Interim Care Orders are used to allow the court more time to come to a decision. During this period, parents/guardians can continue to address raised concerns, while their child temporarily resides with a foster family.
  • Interim Supervision Orders – similar to Interim Care Orders, these arrangements are only applicable for a set period of time. However, when an Interim Supervision Order is ruled, the child is deemed safe to reside at home with their parents/guardians. The social services will remain involved, offering the parents/guardians support throughout the duration of the order.
  • Police Powers of Protection – authorised by special protective powers, the police can remove a child from their home address if they are deemed at risk of severe harm. This child can only be removed for a maximum of 72 hours; however, this action is often followed up by an Emergency Protection Order or Interim Care Order.
  • Emergency Protection Orders – these orders are only used in extreme circumstances, authorising a child to be removed from their home for a maximum of eight days. During this time, the child’s care is the responsibility of the social services. In exceptional instances, where a child is still at risk of harm, these orders can be extended for a further week.

Care and Supervision Orders are normally only implemented when the children have previously been deemed as at risk of suffering harm within their current care. Most child care proceedings conclude with an Interim Care Order.

What is an Interim Care Order?

The large majority of child care proceedings conclude with the implementation of an Interim Care Order or Interim Supervision Order. These are temporary orders that place the care of the child/children as a shared responsibility between the parents and the Local Authority.

Interim Care Orders are used to delay the court’s final decision, giving the court and Judge more time to assess all of the information before agreeing on a long-term arrangement. In most cases, these care orders last from 8 weeks to 26 weeks.

What our clients are saying about us

See our reviews at Review Solicitors
  • Excellent service! 

    Nisha assisted me in applying for my indefinite leave to remain, and I am so glad she did! Nisha was extremely responsive, thorough, reassuring, and very patient with my numerous ... Read more Excellent service!
    Kate S, Review Solicitors (March 2024)
  • Excellent Service by Sherena! 

    I was really lucky to have Sherena assist me on my Spouse Visa case. From the start, Sherena demonstrated a deep understanding of the immigration process; she provided a clear ... Read more Excellent Service by Sherena!
    Qistina, Review Solicitors (March 2024)
  • Professional 

    Very professional and dependable, trustworthy, will not let you down.
    Kerry, Review Solicitors (March 2024)
  • Great Solicitor 

    Kevin was great to deal with and advised me very well and was very professional whilst also being friendly and professional. I would recommend Kevin and Cartwright King to anyone ... Read more Great Solicitor
    Christopher, Review Solicitors (March 2024)
  • Tireless and Fair Minded Approach 

    I've hired Kelly on a number of times to act for me as a familv law specialist. I cannot recommend her highly enough. She has assisted me with a number ... Read more Tireless and Fair Minded Approach
    Mr Poole, Founder and CEO of Starfire Technologies Ltd, (February2024)
  • Great with Communication 

    If you are looking for a family child care firm then I would most definitely recommend Cartwright King. Fiona Bowen was great with communication both via emails and phone calls. ... Read more Great with Communication
    JS, (February2024)
  • Genuinely Cared 

    I highly recommend Cartwright King solicitors. My solicitor Chet Desai was there to support and guide me throughout the case from the very beginning until the very end. He was ... Read more Genuinely Cared
    Abbie, Review Solicitors (February 2024)
  • Great Results 

    Chet Desai represented me in a very personal case in regards to my daughter. Thanks to Chet and his team at Cartwright my case was solved the way I wanted ... Read more Great Results
    Yuvraj Zala, Review Solicitors (February 2024)
  • Very Professional 

    Sadia is very professional very efficient and honest. Would work with her again. Thank you.
    Kathryn, Review Solicitors (February 2024)