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Supporting our clients across South Wales for over 40 years.

Care Proceedings

Local Authority involvement within your family is extremely upsetting, stressful and confusing. At JNP Legal we have a team of specialist solicitors who will advise and support you during this difficult time.

We will provide you with honest and clear advice about the nature and effect of a social worker investigating your child/children's circumstances.

Our solicitors regularly advise and represent parents and relatives in the following areas:

  • Section 47 investigations;
  • Child protection registration;
  • Section 76 Consent;
  • PLO meetings;
  • Care proceedings;
  • Kinship fostering;
  • Special guardianship; and,
  • Adoption
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How we can help with Care Proceedings

In the majority of cases legal aid is available to assist and represent you and we will assess your eligibility for legal aid immediately at your first appointment.

It is better to seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity so please do not delay in getting in touch if you need advice and representation.

Our team has wide ranging experience on the below full range of orders, and we can provide you with advice and assistance on getting legal aid.

 

Section 47 investigation

This is when the Local Authority is investigating a child/children’s circumstances because of an incident or perhaps a referral from school. They will look into the circumstances of the child and then recommend that further action is taken or whether it is closed down.

You can have a one off session of legal advice funded by the legal aid agency around the investigation that is happening with the Local Authority.

You will need to demonstrate that you earn below a certain amount and will be asked to produce 3 months’ of bank statements at the appointment so that you can get legal aid. You will also need to have parental responsibility over the child.

 

Child Protection Registration

This is when the local authority are concerned about the child/children and there is a plan in place that parents have to work with to try and improve the children’s circumstances.

The categories of harm are physical harm, sexual harm, emotional harm and neglect. You can have a one off session of legal advice funded by the legal aid agency around the registration of your child and the plan the Local Authority has put in place.

You will need to demonstrate that you earn below a certain amount and will be asked to produce 3 months’ bank statements at the appointment so that you can get legal aid. You will also need to have parental responsibility over the child.

 

Section 76 Consent

This is when the Local Authority asks you to agree for your child/children to be looked after by someone other than themselves whether that is in foster care or with a family member. You would have been asked to sign voluntary accommodation paperwork. You can have a one of session of legal advice funded by the legal aid agency.

You will need to demonstrate that you earn below a certain amount and will be asked to produce 3 months’ bank statements at the appointment so that you can get legal aid. You will also need to have parental responsibility over the child.

 

PLO

This is when the local authority has decided that they decide they need to involve solicitors. This is the process they take before they go to court to decide where the child/children should live until they are 18 and whether they should be placed into foster care. They will usually give you a letter that says in bold at the top TAKE THIS LETTER TO A SOLICITOR NOW with a date and time for a meeting.

It is very important that if you receive a letter like this, you do not delay and seek legal advice immediately. You qualify for automatic legal aid and do not need to provide bank statements. You need to confirm that you are a parent of the child.

 

Care Proceedings

This is when the local authority have instigated court proceedings to decide whether the parents can care for the child/children.

It is very important that if this happens, you do not delay and seek legal advice immediately. You will qualify for automatic legal aid and do not need to provide bank statements. You need to confirm that you are a parent of the child.

 

Discharge of Care Proceedings

This is when the parent wants to remove the Care Order that the local authority has and usually wants the child/children returned to their care.

You will need to evidence that you have made changes since the end of the Care Proceedings in order for this to happen.

If you believe you have done this, you will need to earn below a certain amount to qualify for legal aid. Our client services team will be able to send you a fact sheet which details the means test requirements.

 

Revocation of placement order

At the end of care proceedings, if the child is young enough, the local authority will have been able to get a ‘Placement Order’. This allows the LA to ‘place’ the child on the register for adoption and to place them with potential adopters.

You will need to evidence that you have made changes since the end of the Care Proceedings in order for this to happen.

If you believe you have done this, you will need to earn below a certain amount to qualify for legal aid. Our client services team will be able to send you a fact sheet which details the means test requirements.

 

Opposition to Adoption

This is when the person who wants to adopt the child has made an application to adopt and you have been notified and have told the court you want to fight against the adoption. You must have parental responsibility for the child who is subject to the order. You are not required to provide evidence of your income or eligibility.

 

Special Guardianship Orders

A Special Guardianship Order (SGO) is when someone who is caring for the child/children wants to get an order from the Court formalising this arrangement.

This application means that they have an order that they share parental responsibility with the parents of the children and can make decisions that overrule them. The local authority must have completed a report on the carers for them to apply.

Carers can be assessed to by the Local Authority during Care Proceedings but can also do this outside of Care Proceedings.

If you are a parent and someone is applying for a Special Guardianship Order over your child, and you want legal aid, you must have parental responsibility for the child who is subject to the order, and you must oppose the making of the Order. You are not required to provide evidence of your income or eligibility.

If you are a carer who is applying for a Special Guardianship Order over a child in your care, you are required to pass a merits test that your prospects of success are 50% or better. You also are also required to demonstrate that you earn below a certain amount, which is the means test. You must pass both of these tests before you can qualify for legal aid. Our client services team will be able to send you a fact sheet which details the means test requirements.

Why choose JNP Legal's Care Department

Our Solicitors are accredited specialists who have experience in representing clients in all areas of children law and have a proven record in achieving the best possible outcome for clients in what is an emotionally difficult and stressful time.

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Testimonials

Cerian was amazing. Always made herself available, went above and beyond for me as a client, could
not have asked for more.

Client

Katie made things so much easier for me. She was understanding and didn’t judge. I’d highly
recommend.

Client

Katie was fantastic. Very supportive and reassuring. Helped me through a difficult situation and was
responsive to my needs.

Client

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