Whether your children are currently being assessed by a Local Authority Social Services Department and/or whether Social Services have indicated that they wish you to enter into a Voluntary Accommodation Arrangement, or an intention to issue Care Proceedings, you will need expert help and advice to help you through the process. Social Services are also known as Children’s Services.
Local Authority Social Services Departments are all agencies of the Government. This means that they will have knowledge and resources ordinarily not available to members of the public. Ultimately, this puts them at an advantage.
Whatever the process involving your children with Social Services may be, it will be governed by many different rules and regulations and is complex.
Whenever the State challenges an individual, it is extremely important that the individual is able to respond to those challenges appropriately and in doing so does not prejudice their position.
As an indication of the importance of these proceedings, the Government has continued to support the need for persons with parental responsibility for children in respect of whom Care Proceedings are issued to be entitled to free legal representation. In today’s times, this is extremely rare since all Governments since 2009 have gradually removed Legal Aid from most fields of family law.
In addition, only a Solicitor who is on the Law Society Children Panel is allowed to represent children in Care Proceedings. No such rule exists in relation to the representation of parents, but as a Practice which specialises in this field of law, we would always recommend that no adult involved in Care Proceedings should ever instruct any Solicitor unless they are a member of the Law Society Children Panel so that you can be assured that they have the necessary expertise.
Whatever involvement you may have with social services we have the necessary expertise to help and guide you through the process.