Social Services Involvement Information Presented by Hurlows Family Law Practice
When social services become involved with your family, this can be an understandably distressing and emotionally challenging time. You are likely to be confused or unsure as to why the social services have become involved with your family and it is a time where legal representation is highly important.
Hurlows Family Law Practice have a proven track record for dealing with a wide range of problems arising from the involvement of social services. As there are likely many questions that you may have regarding social services and their potential involvement with your family, we have compiled information regarding social services and answered questions relating to social service involvement. If you require more information or want more information or legal advice regarding social services then enquire with Hurlows Family Law Practice using an online contact form on our website or telephone our team now on: 029 2039 6087
What are Social Services?
Social services are obligated to protect and safeguard vulnerable children and adults offering a wide range of services to children and their parents. Although there are often fears that children will be removed from their homes by social services they will require a court order and very clear evidence of risk of signifiant harm to be able to take a child away from their home. If they decide that a child is in immediate danger then the police can take a child into ‘police protection’ but your child must be returned within the next 48 hours unless court makes an Emergency Protection Order. When the social services become involved with your family then it’s highly recommended to seek legal advice and representation immediately.
Why Do Social Services Become Involved?
An adult family member, parent or an older child may request support from social services regarding a particular issue. Other adults or people in duty of care of children may also raise concerns to social services and if these are supported then social services may also become involved. Schools, GPs, health professionals and others may also refer a child to social services if they are concerned about the welfare or safety of a child.
Dealing With Social Services Involvement
There’s good reason to become concerned when social workers are involved with your family. There are instances where you may become wary or concerned that social services are involving themselves with your child. Examples could be such as a social worker visiting frequently without you knowing why they are visiting your family. Be very aware of when they say that they are just “visiting for a chat” as all of these will be written up, recorded and permanently kept on file. Your child may be injured in an accident in which a health professional has referred the case to social services or a child protection plan may have been made and you disagree with the reasons for example. In Wales, a child may have been placed on the child protection register and you may not understand why or you may disagree with the reasons given.
What Should I Do If Social Services Become Involved?
It’s very important to get advice whether this is from a specialist organisation or family law solicitor. If social services have proceeded with court proceedings then a family law solicitor is highly recommended as they can represent and support you during a court proceeding. You may also be able to seek legal aid should a local authority issue court proceedings regardless of how much money you have. There are some types of meetings with the local authority in which a solicitor can be in attendance so it’s highly recommended to have a solicitor with you during these types of meetings.
You may receive a letter inviting you to a meeting with social services. Should you receive a letter then it’s highly recommended to take a solicitor with you during these meetings and as mentioned you may qualify for free legal aid to cover this. Case conferences may also occur involving all that are involved in the process of social services involvement. A family law solicitor may be able to attend some meetings with you and you may qualify for free legal aid to cover this.
Contacting a Child in Care
Parents, any guardian, any person who held a Residence Order or Child Arrangements Order for residence immediately before Care Order was made or any person who had care of the child under wardship immediately before the Care Order was made must be allowed reasonable contact with a child in care. You can apply for an order for contact with a child in care and a family law solicitor can advise you on making this application. When contact is granted, court can attach certain conditions such as supervised contact, overnight contact or only indirect contact such as letters, telephone calls or emails. A family law solicitor can help you in relation to contacting a child or children that are in care.
Can a Child Be Represented?
If a child is considered to have sufficient maturity then they are entitled to have their own solicitor who can represent them during the case. We have experienced specialists who are members of The Law Society Children Panel for example who can advise and represent you. You can also arrange for representation through a child’s Guardians.
General Advice When Dealing With Social Services
It’s important to make sure that you have access to all of the information that you need when dealing with social services. There are a number of free advice sources which can offer you specific advice once social services become involved. As we have mentioned, it’s always a very sensible and highly recommended to contact a specialist family law solicitor when social services become involved. This is to make sure that you have specific legal advice available to you for when you have contact and speak to social services. This also extends to if you have to attend court as a family law solicitor will be able to represent you in court and let you know all of the options that are available.
Enquire With Hurlows Family Law Practice to Find Out More Information
As it can be highly stressful and confusing when social services involve themselves with you and your family, it is understandable if you are looking for advice or representation when this occurs. Our team of solicitors have many years of experience in representing our clients should social services become involved and have represented clients in court when social services have issued court proceedings. We will help you in dealing with social services and help you to reach the best resolution for your children. If you do require more advice on social services or the situations in which social services may become involved in your family and your children then we can advise and support you. Whether you or a family member are dealing with social services, we can advise and support you during this difficult. If you are looking for social services information or information regarding social services involvement then enquire with Hurlows Family Law Practice using an online contact form on our website or telephone our team directly now on: 029 2039 6087