Child Care Solicitors in Manchester

Care order
Legally reviewed by: Jonathan Pollard

Compassionate Manchester Based Child Care Solicitors

If you require high-quality legal advice for your upcoming child care proceedings, our experienced child care solicitors in Manchester can provide assistance. At Cartwright King, we take pride in the recognition of our soliciting services by Legal 500, signifying our commitment to excellence. Our specialist solicitors work tirelessly to support all clients in and around the North West, as well as throughout the rest of the UK. Furthermore, we believe everyone deserves access to legal representation that goes above and beyond to give you and your children the best possible result.

When social services become involved in a child’s care, we understand that this is an immensely emotive time. Fortunately, our solicitors have years of experience dealing with child care proceedings and a range of different care orders, so you can rest assured that your solicitor will be able to advise you on every step of the process. Whether you require special guardianship orders or want to explore your parental rights as a grandparent or step-parent, your child care solicitor will be able to prepare you for all eventualities of proceedings.

All child care solicitors are well-practised in offering legal advice remotely via telephone consultations and online video calls. No matter where you are based, our Manchester team can reach you. Of course, you are also welcome to meet with us in person at our premises.

Call our Manchester child care solicitors today on 0161 833 1411 or send us an online enquiry form to arrange your FREE, no-obligation telephone consultation.

The Different Types of Care Orders

When the local authorities have concerns about a child’s care, and a pre-proceedings meeting progresses to court, they can insist on a range of child care orders to be put in place. If the local authorities get involved, our child care solicitors in Manchester can support you throughout the implementation of all orders, including:

Supervision Orders

A Supervision Order states that the local authority must remain in the picture for at least 12 months. During this time they will advise, assist and support the children and their parents, allowing the family to remain living together. If after 12 months there are still concerns, the order can be extended for an additional two years.

Special Guardianship Orders

At the end of a child care proceeding, the local authority may insist the children in question should be removed from their familial home and reside with Special Guardians. These guardians are usually known family members who are given parental responsibility and rights to make any decisions that directly relate to the children’s welfare.

Care Order

A Care Order is implemented in extreme circumstances where a child has to be removed from their home environment. It is worth noting that child care proceedings are carried out to try and resolve and improve any issues, allowing a child to remain with their family. However, in instances where a child’s parental responsibility is handed over to the local authority, a child is placed with a foster family or family member.

When a Care Order is put into practice, the local authority has the right to make decisions about the child’s health and education. The child’s parents do retain some parental responsibility; but, the authorities would have the say over daily matters.

Placement Order

A Placement Order will support a Care Order. In instances where a child is placed outside their family with a foster family, a Placement Order will accompany the decision. What this does is kickstart the process that starts looking for an appropriate adoptive family.

Interim Orders

The most common type of order to be implemented at the end of child care proceedings is Interim Orders or Interim Supervision Orders. Additionally, these orders are put into practice for a temporary amount of time. Therefore, they allow the local authorities to observe genuine improvement in the child’s care arrangements. During this period, parents will share joint responsibility with the social services for anything between 8 to 26 weeks. Subsequently, at the end of this designated time frame, all evidence will be presented to a Judge, who will make the final decision.

It’s important to note that Care Orders and Supervision Orders will only be issued if the child is deemed at risk of suffering harm or has already come into harm.

Arrange Your Free Introductory Consultation Today

We know how important trusting your child care solicitor is to your child care proceedings. Therefore, we offer all prospective clients a free, no-obligation consultation over the telephone, to allow you to get a sense of our solicitors and their working practices.

Within your FREE, introductory conversation, we will

  • Gather more information about you and your case
  • Learn more about your childcare position and arrangements
  • Discuss your legal options

All calls will be treated confidentially and are 100% complimentary. There will be absolutely no pressure to appoint our solicitor’s expertise in your child care case.

*Please note all introductory consultations are purely a “get to know you” conversation. No legal advice or strategy will be discussed.

Why Appoint Cartwright King’s Solicitors?

At Cartwright King, if you need a child care solicitor, we will be there. Child care proceedings are extremely sensitive cases with heightened emotions, and our team understands the need for full confidentiality. By putting the child’s welfare first, our solicitors will offer timely replies to all your legal needs. All correspondence will be delivered responsibly and with the utmost respect. As trust is a huge aspect of a solicitor-client relationship, honesty will be at the forefront of all communication.

The Legal 500 acknowledge Cartwright King as top firm due to the professionalism and experience of all our solicitors. Cartwright King’s prestige comes as a direct result of their knowledge and understanding of child law services, including advanced family law matters.

Our team approaches every case with the same level of respect and offers you carefully considered, non-judgemental advice on how to approach your case. We will cut through all the legal terminology ensuring you understand exactly what is happening throughout this difficult time.

The child’s welfare will be at the heart of all their advice; at no point will your solicitor rush your case. Additionally, before the solicitor will provide you with guidance they will examine it appropriately. Your child care solicitor in Manchester will be there to represent your voice, before the court and social services. However, they will also keep a close eye on your wellbeing.

Our Child Care Solicitor Fees

We wish to support anyone who requires legal assistance and representation. That is why, at Cartwright King, we have an upfront pricing structure with no hidden fees for our child care services.

Frequently asked questions.

What do child care solicitors do?

Child care solicitors are experts within child care proceedings, however complex and sensitive. They are specific types of lawyers who can help you understand the legal jargon, processes and procedures, representing you should your case progress to a court of law. Working alongside you, they will explore every option to help you keep your children residing with you.

Whether you are facing a Child Care Proceeding or Advanced Family Law Case, your solicitor will be paramount to the process. Regardless of how emotionally distressing this time is, legal protocols must be followed. Your child care solicitor will ensure each deadline is met, every process is fulfilled and all the evidence is collated. Additionally, they will keep you and your child’s welfare at the forefront of the case, guaranteeing you are heard throughout the proceedings.

From Emergency Protection Orders to Pre-Proceedings Meetings, including Special Guardianship Orders and presenting Contest Removal Hearings, your Manchester-based child care solicitor works to achieve the best solution for your child’s welfare.

What happens during childcare pre-proceedings?

Child care proceedings, including the pre-proceedings process, are stipulated within the government’s legal Public Law Outline. This legislation ensures that, regardless of the Local Authority, each social services department follows the same protocol.

During the pre-proceedings process, the social workers have the opportunity to inform the child’s parents/guardians about their concerns. This process is in place to help families stay together; however, wider family and friends will be explored during this stage to see if there is the possibility for additional support.

In the first instance, social services will send a pre-proceedings letter to the child’s parents/guardians to commence the process. The letter gives the parents time to find legal representation and seek any advice about the upcoming process. A pre-proceedings meeting follows where a plan of action is agreed upon for the next 12-week period. During this time, the social services hope to see considerable improvements to the child’s care and welfare, ending the processes and removing the need to escalate things further in court.

What happens during child care proceedings?

After the pre-proceeding process and meeting, the case will only progress to court if the social services are not convinced there has been enough of an improvement. A child care proceeding will aim to be resolved within 24 weeks after the first application was made, and consists of three to four hearings:

  • Case Management Hearing – this is the first hearing that aims to outline how and when the entire case will be resolved.
  • Contested Removal Hearing – if the social services believe it is in the child’s best interests to remove them from their home environment, the parents/carers have the chance to contest this decision in this hearing. During this stage, the court will determine where the child will reside during the remainder of the case.
  • Issues Resolution Hearing – the reasons why the social services began the child care proceedings will be heard and resolved during this hearing. All parties will have the opportunity to state their beliefs with the help of their Manchester child care solicitor. Here your case is presented and all processes are adhered to, giving you the best chance of keeping your child with you.
  • Final Hearing – if the previous hearing does not reach an outcome, a Final Hearing goes ahead. Your solicitor will present all the evidence and arguments again for a Judge to make their final decision.

What can child protective services do?

A social services department has a duty of care for the protection of all children within the local area. If they ever have reason to doubt or question a child’s safety or level of care, then it is their responsibility to report this to the necessary authorities.

The role of child protection services is not to break up families. In fact, they aim to avoid cases where a child is not at any immediate risk of escalating to court. Instead, they raise their concerns in line with the Public Law Outline Procedure and work with the parents in pre-proceedings meetings to improve a child’s level of care.

What are a grandparent’s rights in child care proceedings?

A grandparent does not have any parental responsibility or rights for their grandchildren. If they wish to put themselves forward as a potential guardian, an application of ‘leave’ is necessary to the court. The court will have to make a decision in line with the Children Act 1989 welfare checklist. In circumstances where a child is already residing with their grandparent, the court is highly likely to deem the application successful.

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