If a child is considered to be at risk, or is the subject of care proceedings, our childcare solicitors can help you. We represent parents, family members and carers of children in proceedings. We can also act on behalf of the child involved.
The law can be complex and overwhelming, especially when the welfare of a child is involved. But don't worry, you've come to the right place.
We specialise in offering expert advice and guidance in childcare law, from child protection issues to care proceedings.
In providing legal support, we’ll listen to your worries and concerns and we’ll give you honest and realistic advice. With our team of dedicated childcare solicitors, you can be sure you’re getting advice you can trust, delivered with empathy at every step.
Navigating childcare law is rarely straightforward, but you don't have to face it alone. Here's how we can be by your side, supporting you every step of the way.
can be an emotional and upsetting. They often happen when you're already going through a difficult time. Our solicitors are experts in guiding you through the legal maze, making sure you understand every aspect of the process. They offer sensible and helpful advice and make sure that your voice is heard by the professionals and by the judge.
If child protection agencies are getting involved in your family life, you need to be clear about your rights and responsibilities. With our child protection solicitor team by your side, you'll not only receive expert legal advice from our experienced and skilled legal professionals, but also emotional support tailored to help you and your family through this challenging period.
can be very difficult, both emotionally and legally. You can count on us to walk you through each step, clarifying the legal aspects and making sure you're prepared for every possible outcome. We’re here to make a complicated situation as simple and manageable as possible.
Child are initiated when social services apply to the court to determine if your child should be legally protected from harm. This could be for several reasons including physical, emotional and sexual harm, and neglect:
Proceedings may also be started when a child is considered beyond parental control.
At the start of care proceedings, the local authority will apply to the family court for an interim order. This is a temporary care order that allows the local authority to take a child(ren) into care while are ongoing. The interim order is usually decided at the first hearing, shortly after the application has been made.
The court will also schedule a case management hearing, which should be held 12-17 days after the application is made to the court. The hearing can take place either before the magistrates, a District Judge or a Circuit Judge. This hearing sets out a timetable of dates for the filing of recommendations and plans about the future of your child(ren). For example, the social workers will tell the court about any work they want to do with you to assess if it’s safe for your child or children to return home or to stay at home. The court will set a date for a further hearing about 4-5 months after the local authority makes its first application to the court.
This hearing is called an issues resolution hearing. The main purpose of this hearing is to let the court know whether the plans for the child(ren) are agreed upon by the parents and the professionals. If a plan is agreed by everyone then the case can conclude at this hearing. If the plan isn’t agreed then the court will be asked to list the case for a final hearing.
The final hearing is to take place within 6 months of the application being put before the court. A final hearing can be listed for any length of time depending upon how complex your case is. If there is no agreement then it’s at this final hearing that a court will make a final decision about the plan for your child(ren).
If you have parental responsibility over a child, then it is essential to obtain professional legal advice to make sure that the complexities of proceedings are dealt with properly. Our childcare solicitors have years of experience in representing clients in these types of cases, with a wide and thorough knowledge of this area of law. We understand how stressful and sensitive this time in your life can be. Our team is friendly and understanding and offers the support you need to feel properly represented after your case.
If you’re concerned about how your grandchild or a child related to you will be cared for and looked after, our childcare team can help you. We can help if:
Although a non-parent is not automatically entitled to legal aid, you may still be eligible for legal aid or local authority funding. Get in touch with our lawyers today if you’re unsure about your financial position.
We can provide specialist representation of children of all ages in cases of this nature and are often called upon by court-appointed guardians to represent the interests of children involved in care proceedings.
Our specialists are skilled in communicating effectively with children, and we work closely with court-appointed guardians, making sure that proceedings are explained in an age-appropriate way to young clients.
We’re also instructed by young people in the care system who are looking for independent, straightforward advice.
We’re often called upon to represent the interests of children who have been made a party to private law proceedings under rule 16.3 and 4 of the Family Proceedings Rules. We use our experience and skills from working with young people to make sure that their voices are heard and their views considered by the court.
The outcomes from a child care case depend on a variety of factors, for example, the outcome of the parenting assessments or other expert assessments, the circumstances surrounding the child(ren), and what the court deems to be in the child's best interests. Some common outcomes can include:
While these outcomes are standard in childcare law, every case has its unique aspects. That's where our expertise comes in. At Switalskis, we aim to guide you through the process, offering clarity and reassurance along the way.
Childcare cases often come with emotional turmoil, and the last thing you'd want to worry about is how to pay for the necessary legal support. But you can breathe easy as we’ve got options that could work for you:
We're transparent about costs and will discuss all your funding options during our initial consultation. It's essential for us that you’re comfortable and well-informed as you go through this challenging period.
We're here to guide you through the intricacies of childcare law, offering clarity and compassionate support along the way. Contact us today to discover how our expertise can make a real difference in your life. With Switalskis, you're not just hiring solicitors; you're gaining a caring and committed team.
Call us now on 0800 138 0458 or contact us through the website.