Care & Social Services Law
If you have received a letter from social services or have a child in care, we can help. HRS is one of the leading firms representing people who face action by the local authority and the prospect of their children being removed in to care. Book a first free appointment today. Legal Aid is available.
Care & Social Services Law
It is not easy to stand up to a Local Authority with a team of Social Workers and lawyers against you. It is not easy to change. It is never easy to take a different path. At HRS, we know these things. That is why we work tirelessly to help people who, often through no fault of their own, find themselves involved with Social services. Our job is to help you keep your family together and we have some significant experience and success in this regard.
We represent people every day in Court against Birmingham City Council, Sandwell MBC, Dudley MBC and Walsall, amongst others, throughout the West Midlands and beyond, from Liverpool to Essex. These cases are too specialist and important to trust to lawyers who do not have the necessary expertise. We are the biggest Care law team in the West Midlands. We are in court doing the job day in and day out. Be it Care Proceedings, an EPO, Secure Accommodation, contact with a child in Care, Special Guardianship or Adoption please call any of our offices for a free first interview.
If you are worried about your children going into care, talk to us right away. We will get things started at the first free interview on the very day a client gets in touch. We will arrange Legal Aid, which is almost always available, and make contact with the Local Authority lawyers about protecting your position in the case, with a view to keeping the family together.
How we can help…
HRS Family Law Solicitors are experts in protecting your family from intervention by Social Services. We can help you as much or as little as you need in the following ways:
- Fight claims by social services
- See your child in care
- Win back your children
- Keep your baby
- Get custody of your grandchild, niece or nephew
- Fight false allegations about your behaviour
- Work with charities and training providers so you can demonstrate improvement
- Represent you in court
- Represent you at meetings with Social Services
You should never go through legal action by social services alone. We are here to help and our help is normally free. If you have been contacted by social services do not delay. Contact us right away. Book an Appointment using the link below.
Why choose HRS Family Law Solicitors
Experts in their field – Because we are specialists in family law and do nothing else we have lots of experience in winning children back from care and stopping social services from taking children away. Book a free appointment today.
No legalese or jargon – Just straightforward advice focused on achieving your goal. At HRS we understand that you are the client and our role is to give you advice and assistance. It is not for us to tell you what to do.
Legal Aid available – If social services have sent you a letter or are threatening legal action then legal aid is almost always available. Book a free appointment to find out more.
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Care & Social Services Law Frequently Asked Questions
Can social services take my children off me?
A Local Authority cannot take your child off you unless they have obtained a Court Order or unless the parent agrees to their child being placed in foster care. The Police can use their police protection powers and remove a child from a parent for up to 72 hours. The child then has to either be returned or the Local Authority must make an application to Court. There is Legal aid available to represent parents in these types of proceedings, all your legal fees are covered. If you believe that social services may do this, please contact us immediately to discuss and we can help.
My child was placed in foster care following Court proceedings, will I ever be able to get my child(ren) back?
If your child was placed in foster care at the conclusion of care proceedings, yes you are able to apply back to Court to discharge the care order. There is Legal aid available to cover legal fees should you be eligible. Book a first free appointent with us today and we will discuss all of your options.
My child has been placed for adoption but has not yet been adopted, can I ever get my child back?
As long as your child has not been physically placed in an adoptive placement or as long as an adoption order has not been made, you are able to make an application to court to get your children back. This is known as applying for leave to apply to revoke the placement order after 12 months. We have helped hundreds of parents get ther children back using this method. Legal aid is often available for this so please contact us today and we can talk through all your options free of charge.
My child(ren) have been placed on a child protection plan, what does this mean?
It means that the local authority have concerns for the safety of the child and have a plan in place for addressing the issues. It may also mean they will look at intervening with your family. If your child has been placed on a child protection plan book an appointment with us as soon as possible and someone will be on hand to help you should things get worse. The first appointment is free.
Social services are speaking to my children without my knowledge. Can they do this?
Yes and no. You can refuse them access but it is unlikely to be helpful. If you do that it may make them more likely to take further action but, as always, you should discuss with your Solicitor as every case is different. Book a free first appointment with us today and we can advise you.
My children are in foster care under a care order, I want more contact with my children, what can I do?
You can make an application under the Children Act for more contact if it is in the best interests of the child. We can help you do this and argue your case to the court. Book a first free appointment today and an expert family law will help you look at options.
I don’t like the children’s social worker. Can I change them?
We can try and help you do this but it depends on why you do not like them. If you have a good reason then it may be possible. Although remember that the social worker works for social services. They don’t work for the court. This means we have to make a good argument. Book a first free appointment today and we’ll see if we can help you.
I am a grandmother, my grandchild is in foster care, my assessment was negative, the local authority are refusing to allow my grandchild to be placed with me, there are current ongoing proceedings. What can I do?
We can help you liaise with the Local Authority and to make an application to Court for an independent social worker assessment or to challenge the current negative assessment of you. We believe that family members and in particular grandparents are significant people in a child’s life and they should have a chance to live with their family if they are unable to live with their parents. Book a first free apointment today and an expert family lawyer can talk you through your options.
What is an Interim Care Order?
An interim care order is when the Local Authority make an application to Court to share parental responsibility with the parents. It means they can make decisions about where the child lives and what they can do without notifiying the parents. Interim care orders are frequently used to put children into care for a short period of time whilst a case is ongoing. They are normally granted for a period of about 6 months after which parental responsibility returns to the parents/guardians. If you have received an interim care order you need to take action immediately or face losing your children permenantly. Contact us today and book a free appointment. We are experts in this area of law. We can help you.
What are pre-proceedings?
Pre-proceedings is the process before a full hearing where the Local Authority decides whether they will lodge an application to Court to remove your children. This process usually takes about 12 weeks. It offers parents an opportunity to prove themselves and to show their willingness to engage with professionals and prove that they can address the concerns raised. If you are in this situation contact us today, book a free appointment, and we can help you prove yourself.
Can my family member look after my child instead of them going into foster care?
You can place your child with a family member if that is best in the short term. But you need to do things correctly. These days that means the local authority being made aware of the issue. If the local authority are involved in the case they would want to complete assessments of your family member. The first is a Viability Assessment and then if positive this can continue on to a Full Connected Person Assessment. This takes some time so it may be that the child is placed in foster care while these assessments are untaken, if this is in the child’s best interests. Good Solicitors can make this much quicker/circumvent the process, depending on the circumstances. Talk to us for free today and an expert family lawyer can guide you on the whole process.
What do I need to do in order to stop my child going into Foster Care?
First, always get expert legal advice. Having someone on your side throughout this process can make a big difference and it is usually free. Second be open and honest with the Local Authority and work closely with your social worker. Make sure you attend all appointments with all professionals involved in your case. If you are part of the PLO process, make sure you adhere to the written agreement that is proposed by the Local Authority to address the concerns that they have raised, this may include attending courses for example. Ultimately, keep in contact with us so that we are able to assist and advise you as your case progresses and stop the local authority acting unfairly. If you are in this situation book a first free appointment today and we will be on your side.
Will I get to see my child if they are in Foster Care?
Yes. S34 of the Children Act 1989 places a duty on the Local Authority to allow the child in its care, to have reasonable contact with their parents and certain ‘other persons’. We are able to assist in the promotion of contact between a parent and a looked after child to ensure the contact is as much as possible in all the circumstances. Bok a first free apointment today to find out more.
The social services want me to separate from my partner as they say he is a risk, are they allowed to dictate to me?
Social services will make recommendations and ask parents to do certain things that they feel will help keep the children together with their parents and one of those is separating from a partner who they may deem a risk to yourself or your children. The social services should discuss this with you further and explain their concerns fully to you. Every situation is different but if they feel your children are at significant risk they may place your children on a child protection plan or make an application to Court for an order to place the children into foster care. If this is the case please speak to us about it asap. We offer legal aid to be able to speak to the Local Authority on your behalf and to attend any child protection meetings with you.
How long do care proceedings last?
Usually 26 weeks Although this can vary depending on the complexity of the case. Book a first free appointment today and we can assess how long your case may take free of charge.
Do you work for the Local Authority in care proceedings?
No! We are not employed by the Local Authority we are employed by you. We are completely independent and are here to act for you, in your best interests and to ensure that your voice is heard. Book a free appointment today and we can be on your side.
What is a Guardian? Are they the same as social services?
In Care proceedings a Guardian is appointed for the child to look out for their best interests. The Guardian works for Cafcass, a Government agency. Social services are not the same. They are a part of the Local authority. If you want help understanding care proceeedings talk to us for free today. An expert lawyer can help you make sense of things.
What others are saying about our services?
We offer everyone a first free appointment
If social services have sent you a letter or are threatening legal action, book an appointment today. We can help you stand your ground and represent your interests. The first appointment is free and Legal Aid is almost always available.