Under the Public Law Outline (PLO) 2014 for care and supervision, local authorities have to advise parents using straightforward language about any welfare concerns relating to their children – including if care proceedings are being considered by Social Services.
The local authority will send a Pre-proceedings Letter to explain any welfare concerns – and state what parents need to do to avoid children being taken into care.
The Pre-proceedings Letter will also offer details of the Pre-Proceedings Meeting which parents attend to discuss the issues with Social Services.
The letter will suggest that parents appoint their own solicitor to advise them and represent them at the meeting.
Parents who receive a Pre-proceedings Letter are usually eligible for public funding (Legal Aid) to pay for the services of a child care solicitor to advise them and speak for them at the Pre-proceedings Meeting with Social Services.
It is important for parents or those with Parental Responsibility to take legal advice when they receive a Pre-proceedings Letter because the Local Authority will record the details of what is discussed at the Pre-proceedings Meeting – and this may influence any future care proceedings.
Parents who agree to cooperate with the local authority over its concerns about their child or children will also be asked to sign an Agreement, which will be reviewed according to a timescale set by Social Services.
Duncan Lewis children lawyers understand that parents or carers faced with a Pre-proceedings Meeting may feel anxious about what is going to happen – and seeking help from a specialist children lawyer can help prepare parents for the meeting.
Duncan Lewis is one of the UK’s leading Legal Aid child care solicitors with a successful track record in helping parents in care proceedings and child protection cases.
Duncan Lewis is ranked by the Legal 500 2014 for its Family & Matrimonial work – and the Duncan Lewis team includes Advanced Members of the Law Society’s Family Panel, and members of the Law Society Children Panel – so our team is well placed to help you with any care proceedings matters or if you have been sent Pre-proceedings Letter.
Duncan Lewis is also one of the UK’s largest providers of Legal Aid family law services – including children law – and parents who have received a Pre-proceedings Letter are normally automatically eligible for Legal Aid.
Duncan Lewis child care lawyers always advise clients who are seeking help with child care matters – or who are facing a Pre-proceedings Meeting – to get in touch as soon as possible, so the issues can be discussed and an application for public funding can be made to the Legal Aid Agency.
For expert legal advice on all child care matters – including Pre-proceedings Meetings – contact Duncan Lewis Children Lawyers on 020 7923 4020.