The Local Authority and Children

We are leading family lawyers in Exeter. Our child protection solicitors specialise in representing families where social services have become involved with children. We can provide advice on all aspects of local authority involvement, including child in need plans, child protection plans and public law outline meetings.

Child Protection and Local Authority Intervention

We understand that when the local authority become involved with you and your children it can be frightening and confusing. Our child protection lawyers are able to provide guidance on the processes you are involved in and advise you in relation to your and your children’s rights.

There is a duty on every local authority to safeguard and promote the welfare of children within their area who are in need; and so far as is consistent with that duty, to promote the upbringing of such children by their families. There are different degrees of local authority involvement.

Child in Need Plan: A Child in Need (CIN) plan is for a child who needs extra support for their safety, health and/or development.

Child Protection Plan: A Child Protection (CP) plan is where there are professional concerns about a risk to a child of physical, emotional or sexual harm or neglect.

Public Law Outline Meeting: A Public Law Outline (PLO) meeting is held where the local authority has got to the point of considering court proceedings, with a view to potentially removing a child from the care of his or her parents. A PLO meeting is a sign of really serious concerns on the part of the local authority. If you are a parent and have received a letter about PLO proceedings or have been told that an emergency application is being made to court about your child you should seek urgent legal advice from a specialist child protection solicitor. You will be entitled to legal aid so this advice and representation will be free.

Supervision Order: A Supervision Order has the effect of placing a child or children under the supervision of a local authority, for a maximum period of 12 months.

Care Order: A Care Order has the effect of placing a child or children in the care of a local authority for as long as that Order remains in force.

A named child protection lawyer will deal with your case from start to finish. You will be given clear and focused advice throughout your case, including guidance about your position. We will keep you fully informed about each stage and any outcomes. We can also advise you on options for funding your case. Legal aid may be available to parents in earlier stages of local authority involvement but this would be means tested.

To make an enquiry or book an appointment with a child protection solicitor, please contact Mark Fairchild, Family Team Administrator.

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