We are able to offer representation to parties who are involved in Care proceedings relating to a child. Parties involved in these type of proceedings will depend on the circumstances but will more often than not include the biological Mother and Father and anyone who has parental responsibility for a child.
Usually before the Local Authority starts the Care proceedings it will have tried to work with the family to agree voluntary arrangements and have considered potential alternative Carers. On most occasions parents will be invited to a Public Law Outline (PLO) meeting before proceedings are issued and are entitled to have a Solicitor present during these meetings. The Public Law Outline meeting is a meeting whereby the Local Authority will identify the very serious concerns it has and seek agreement with the parties before Care proceedings are issued. Before a Local Authority can issue proceedings it must have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering significant harm and pursued enquiries necessary to decide whether it should take any action.
The Court can make various Orders including:
- Emergency Protection Order (EPO) which gives the Local Authority the right to remove a child from his or her parents' care immediately
- Interim Care Order (ICO) which places the child with the Local Authority which can be up to the conclusion of the proceedings
- An Order for the parent to see a child who is in the care of the Local Authority
- A Care Order which places the child with the Local Authority
- A Supervision Order placing a child under the supervision of the Local Authority
- A Placement Order which means the child is placed with the Local Authority with a view to being permanently adopted
Given the seriousness of these type of proceedings it is important that each and every party obtains thorough and professional representation which we at Pinkney Grunwells are able to offer from the initial advice prior to proceedings including representation at the PLO Meeting through to representation within the Court proceedings.