Child Care Solicitors in Derby
As a Legal 500 law firm, our specialist child care solicitors can provide expert advice in and around Derbyshire, as well as the wider East Midlands region and the rest of the UK. Our practitioners thrive working efficiently to resolve your child care cases, regardless of their complexity.
The process of child care proceedings will often begin with a pre-proceedings meeting. The Local Authority is required to provide a written letter setting out their specific concerns about the care of a child. This letter should be shared with the child’s parents and guardians. The letter should be provided to the legal representative prior to the pre-proceeding meeting. Pre-proceeding meetings are also known as Public Law Outline (PLO) meetings.
The aim of pre-proceedings is to address the Local Authority’s concerns and avoid the matter from escalating to court proceedings. Our child care team can support you throughout the pre-proceedings process. We can assist with understanding the Local Authority’s concerns and negotiating a plan with the Local Authority to address the concerns. We will attend the pre-proceedings meetings to represent you. Our child care team can ease the stress of the situation.
We understand that receiving a pre-proceedings letter can be daunting and an emotional time for the family. At Cartwright King, we always deal with child care cases with empathy and sensitivity. Our solicitors understand that feelings will be heightened and they are experienced in providing support alongside expert legal advice.
Our child care solicitors have a wealth of experience in providing a high standard of legal advice remotely via telephone conversations and video meetings, as well as in person at our Derby office. However you wish to reach our child care solicitors, they can make themselves available.
Call us today on 01332 346 111 or complete our online enquiry form to arrange for your FREE, telephone consultation with our expert child care solicitors in Derby.
How can Cartwright King’s Solicitors help?
Our Derby child care solicitors are experienced in supporting clients across a range of Family Law and Child Law issues. They have a proven track record of resolving:
Our Solicitors Can Support All Child Care Orders
At Cartwright King, no matter what the circumstances surrounding your child care proceedings, we can support you with implementing a range of child care orders. Our child care solicitors have experience representing parents and guardians in cases that have received the following rulings:
Interim Care Order
Most child care proceedings will begin with an interim Care Order. This order gives the Local Authority parental responsibility for the child for the duration of the court proceedings. The child will usually be placed in foster care or with family members. The parents still have parental responsibility and the Local Authority should promote a reasonable level of contact between a child and a parent.
Interim Supervision Order
If the Court decides that the child will remain at home with their family for the duration of the child care proceedings then an interim supervision order may be granted for the duration of the court proceedings. The Local Authority will work closely with the family to provide support during this time.
Police Powers of Protection
The police may decide to use powers of protection if they are extremely concerned for a child’s safety and believe that the child is at risk of imminent danger in the home. Police protective powers allow the police to remove a child from the family home and take the child to a place of safety. Protective powers can only last up to 72 hours. The Local Authority may then decide to apply for an Emergency Protection Order or an interim Care Order to keep the child safe.
Emergency Protection Orders
If there is an immediate risk of significant harm the Court may grant an Emergency Protection Order for the child to be removed from the care of the family. The Emergency Protection Order can last for a maximum of eight days; however, it can be extended for a further seven days. This is an extreme measure and should only be used in emergencies.
At the conclusion of proceedings, the Court may decide that the child should remain at home with their family and the Local Authority’s role is to “advise, assist and befriend” the family. The Local Authority must provide support and advice to the family for the duration of the supervision order. A Supervision Order will usually last for 12 months or less. This order can only be implemented if the children have suffered or are at risk of suffering significant harm.
At the conclusion of proceedings, the Court may decide that the child should be placed in the care of the Local Authority. The child will usually live with a foster family. The Local Authority is given parental responsibility for the child. This means the Local Authority is responsible for caring for the child and making important decisions for the child, such as decisions about their health and education. The parents will still have parental responsibility and should be informed of the child’s progress. However, the majority of the decisions will be made by the Local Authority.
Special Guardianship Order
The Court appoints Special Guardians to care for the child. The Guardians are often family members. The Guardians will gain enhanced parental responsibility and will be able to make important decisions for the child. The parents will still have parental responsibility.
The Court decides that the child cannot be safely cared for within the family and should be placed for adoption. The Placement Order gives the Local Authority power to place a child for adoption outside of their families. If a child is placed with an adoptive family the Local Authority will then make an application for an Adoption Order.
Get A Free Initial Consultation Today
Choosing your solicitor is an extremely important decision and requires you to trust your solicitor to act in your best interests and to speak on your behalf. It is difficult to make this decision without speaking to an individual in an attempt to build a rapport. Fortunately, we understand to trust us, you need to get to speak to us. Therefore, we offer all our potential clients the opportunity to have a no-obligation conversation.
The FREE introductory telephone consultations will offer:
- The opportunity to introduce yourself and your case
- Time to understand the details surrounding your child care position
- An understanding of the options that are available to you
Of course, all these complementary conversations are completely private and confidential. Treat this chat as an insight into how Cartwright King solicitors work and whether this works for you. Let us stress that there is no obligation to appoint one of our expert solicitors if you don’t feel our approach is right for you.
*Please remember the initial consultation is an introductory, “get to know you” conversation and will not include any detailed legal advice.
Why Choose Cartwright King?
Our child care solicitors are highly regarded by both the Legal 500 and the Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession, providing you with the assurance that the legal advice you are receiving is both professional and personal. At Cartwright King, we pride ourselves on offering hands-on legal support that always considers your and the children’s welfare during these difficult times.
Your case will be dealt with in a timely manner, without compromising on attention to detail. We believe each case deserves its own bespoke approach and our child care solicitors are dedicated to providing a tailored service.
Our Child Care Soliciting Fees
We believe that everyone should have access to professional legal representation. In particular, children’s matters are highly emotional cases that require experienced solicitors to deal with your case efficiently and empathetically.
We have a transparent pricing structure for our child care services.
We're here for you.
Frequently asked questions.
What are the most common cases in child care proceedings?
The Local Authority’s concerns may include:
- Physical harm including alleged non-accidental injuries, such as fractured bones and bruising
- Sexual harm
- Emotional harm
- Domestic abuse and controlling or coercive behaviour
- Misuse of drugs and alcohol
- Complex mental health issues
- Complex learning difficulties or disabilities
What happens during child care proceedings?
Child care proceedings are seen as the last resort. The Local Authority will submit a court application to begin the child care proceedings. This will only be necessary if the Local Authority believes court proceedings are required to keep a child safe.
Child care proceedings tend to follow a similar structure to Court hearings.
- First Case Management Hearing – This is an introductory hearing. The Court will make decisions about where a child should live during the Court proceedings. If the Local Authority seeks removal of your child from the family then the Court will consider the parents’ view. If the parents do not agree with removal, the Court will arrange a Contested Removal Hearing. This hearing is an opportunity to challenge the Local Authority’s decision to remove the child. At this hearing, your solicitor will put forward your views on the issue. The Court will then decide where the child should live for the duration of the proceedings.
- Further Case Management Hearing – The purpose of this hearing is to consider what further information is required to make decisions about the child. Your solicitor may request the court’s permission to instruct an expert to complete assessments, such as a psychological assessment or drug/alcohol testing. Your solicitor may request permission to provide statements from support services as evidence of your positive progress. The Court will decide what further information is necessary and when this information should be provided.
- Issues Resolution Hearing – Following receipt of the evidence and the parties’ final statements the Court will consider any remaining issues, such as whether witnesses are required to give evidence at the final hearing. The aim of this hearing is to address any issues in readiness for the final hearing or to make final orders if they are agreed upon.
- Final Hearing – This is the last step of the child care proceedings process. The Court will make a decision about the child’s long term care plan. Our Derby child care solicitors will be able to articulate your wishes and combine this with their extensive legal knowledge to give you the best chance of your child being placed in your care.
How long do child care proceedings take?
All child care proceedings aim to be resolved within a 6-month (24 weeks) window once the initial application has been made. Although, it is worth noting that this timeline may be extended if the case is complex.
What can the Local Authorities do if they are concerned about a child?
Local Authorities have a duty of care to children within their area. When safeguarding issues arise the Local Authority social care department should take action to ensure that the child is kept safe.
If the child is in immediate danger social care must inform the police. The police may use police protective powers to remove a child from the family for up to 72 hours. In emergencies, the Local Authority may seek an Emergency Protection Order to remove a child from the family for up to 8 days.
Most cases begin with a pre-proceedings meeting under the Public Law Outline. This process requires social care to write a letter outlining their concerns and arrange pre-proceedings meetings to discuss how the concerns can be addressed. The aim of the meetings is to avoid the case progressing to court. The meetings should be an open conversation whereby the Local Authority and parents work together to ensure a child can be safely cared for at home.
With Cartwright King solicitors, we can help to support all members of the family from the moment you receive your pre-proceedings letter. We will be able to advise you during the following meeting, guiding you through the legal proceedings and negotiating a care plan that is in your child’s best interest. If the case does progress to court, we can represent you professionally and effectively.
What rights do grandparents have in child care proceedings?
You may be surprised to learn that grandparents do not automatically gain parental rights for their grandchildren. To obtain parental responsibility, an application must be made to the court. You will also need the support and approval of the children’s parents before parental rights can be granted.
When considering an application to obtain parental responsibility, the Judge will refer to the Children Act 1989 welfare checklist to determine whether the proposal is in the best interests of the children. In instances where the grandchildren already reside with their grandparents, applications are more likely to be granted.
What is a guardian?
A special guardian is an individual who has been approved by the courts to care for and have parental responsibility for a child who is not biologically theirs. To become a guardian, an application must be made to the court. The Judge will assess the applicants’ suitability to become guardians in accordance with the Children Act 1989 welfare checklist. Our solicitors can guide you through the application process and the court process.
What our clients are saying about us
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