Legal Aid is available to every parent, irrespective of their financial position, when they are advised by their Local Authority that there are serious concerns about their child or children and where indeed there is a formal threat of court proceedings.
The Local Authority may initiate care proceedings in respect of a child or children when they take a view that a child has suffered or is likely to suffer, significant physical or emotional harm.
Local Authority involvement will be particularly stressful when there is a risk of your children being taken into the care of the Local Authority.
At Sinclairslaw we have expertise as child care law solicitors with our specialist care law solicitors in Cardiff based at our newly opened office suite of offices in Churchill Way Cardiff.
Public Care Law work is undertaken by our litigation partner Rob North and indeed by Expert Accredited Family Law Panel Member, Jane Williams, both of whom have in excess of 25 years in dealing with these matters.
We are situated in close proximity with Cardiff Family Court and ideally placed to deal with urgent applications and indeed attend court on relatively short notice, as unfortunately developments can happen very swiftly in relation to being served with an application for a Care Order by the local authority.
Before going to court, your child's social worker will always have to send papers to the court explaining why they are worried about your child and, you and/or indeed we, always need to see these papers as quickly as possible.
It is usual for there to be Pre-Proceeding meetings and indeed child protection Case Conferences before, formal proceedings are actually commenced and again, you should contact us immediately if you receive any letter in that respect as, Legal Aid will be available if you are a parent, irrespective of your financial position.
We will be able to attend Pre-proceedings Case Conferences with you and advise on how best to work towards a positive outcome at that stage, which can often stop the process going any further.
We meanwhile understand how stressful and emotional these particular family proceedings can be, which is why we pride ourselves on offering a friendly, sympathetic dedicated but at all times professional approach.
We have a strong reputation for fighting for our clients and achieving positive and successful outcomes. You may also be assured that we will guide you through this difficult time with realistic and focused advice
Threshold Criteria in Care Proceedings brought by the Local Authority.
To obtain an Interim Care Order, the Court must be satisfied that there are reasonable grounds for believing that the threshold criteria will be made out. To obtain a Full Care Order, the Court must be satisfied that the threshold criteria is met.
The threshold criteria is defined as “That the child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm and that harm is attributable to the care given or likely to be given if the Order was not made, not being what it would be reasonable to expect a parent to give him or the child is beyond the parent’s control.
Contact us immediately if you feel we can assist, as we believe it is always better to seek advice at an early stage and we would emphasise again that Legal aid or Public Funding will always be made available for cases of this type, irrespective of financial position.
Our litigation partner Rob North can offer assistance with Public Law matters in London or throughout the UK. He can be contacted by email for initial enquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our family specialist Jane Williams conducts Public Law matters in the Cardiff and South Wales area and she can be contacted for general enquiries on email@example.com.