Local authorities are legally obliged to safeguard and promote the welfare of children who are in need. They should promote the upbringing of such children within their birth families, but sometimes a local authority may become so worried about a child that it may feel that the child cannot remain living with his or her parents.
The local authority may ask the child’s parents to agree to the child being accommodated, or, alternatively, commence care proceedings. This may mean that the child is taken into care on a temporary basis whilst further investigations and assessments are carried out. This will help various professionals, such as the social worker and the child’s guardian (who will be appointed by the Children and Family Courts Advisory and Support Service, known as CAFCASS), understand the reasons why the child may be at risk and determine what can be done to keep the child safe. The parents may be offered support and other family members can become involved.
In some cases the court will need to decide whether or not the child can live safely at home with his or her parents, having regard to the evidence that is gathered. Sometimes the local authority believes that it would be better for a child to be looked after outside of his or her birth family, and the local authority may therefore then apply for a Placement Order, which allows it to place the child with suitable adopters. At all times the child’s welfare is the court’s paramount concern.
Our care team, who are family law specialists, here at Burrell Jenkins can advise you on all aspects of care proceedings and represent you at court.
We understand that having the local authority involved in your family life, for whatever reason, can be stressful and emotional and we offer a sensitive, friendly, efficient and professional service to help you cope with the legal aspects of your situation.
Every day we deal with cases where social services are involved, and we regularly appear in courts across the Midlands. We have experience of dealing with a wide range of cases, including complex cases. Our lawyers have experience of appearing in all levels of Family Courts.
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“We had proper advice and were treated with respect. Have used your services before and contact was very easy”
Mr and Mrs H, Care proceedings