Children in care proceedings

  • Care proceedings can be a very stressful and confusing time for parents and their families. Our team of child law specialists have extensive experience in advising and representing parents and family members who are involved in care proceedings. Our child care team are all members of the Law Society’s Children Panel.

    We are able to respond quickly to new referrals and provide you with the excellent legal representation that you need.

    Funding: If you are a parent of the child or have parental responsibility for the child you will automatically be entitled to legal aid irrespective of your financial position.

    Contact us to discuss any children’s care matters affecting your family.

  • Social services involvement

    Children’s Services have a legal duty to investigate reports, concerns or allegations about a child who may be suffering harm. Should those concerns be serious the Local Authority can apply to the Courts for a range of orders. The Local Authority can seek an order to share parental responsibility for the child with the parents and in some cases seek to remove the child from its’ family.

    Types of Orders

    These are the main orders the Court can make if it is satisfied that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm.

    Emergency Protection Order

    If the Local authority is concerned that a child may be at immediate risk of harm they can apply to the Court for an Emergency Protection Order (EPO). The Local Authority will need to show the Court that there is reasonable cause to believe that the child is likely to suffer significant harm if they are not removed to accommodation provided by the Local Authority. The Local Authority can also apply for an EPO on the grounds that their enquiries are being frustrated (e.g. access to the child is being unreasonably refused). The EPO is a temporary order that lasts for 8 days; it can be extended on one occasion for a further 7 days.

    Supervision Order

    A Supervision Order requires the Local Authority to advise, assist and befriend the child. A Supervision Order does not grant the Local Authority parental responsibility. The Local Authority must, for the duration of the Order offer support and advice to the family about how they can address the concerns that Children’s Services have about the child. The Supervision Order is usually initially for 6mths to one year. The Local Authority can apply to the Court for an extension of the Supervision Order if they consider that the family has not made sufficient changes and they remain concerned. The Supervision Order can be extended up to a total of 3 yrs. The Supervision Order will lapse at the end of the specified date if no application is made to the Court to extend it.

    Care Order

    If the Court grants a Care Order to the Local Authority, that Local Authority will share parental responsibility for the child and they can make decisions about the care of the child. The Local Authority should continue to consult the parents about the child’s education, upbringing and medical treatment.

    Placement order

    If the Court is satisfied that the child would be at risk if they were to return to the care of the parents or family members the Court can grant a Placement Order as well as a Care Order. A Placement Order allows the Local Authority to place the child with adoptive parents. The Adoptive Parents are able to apply to adopt the child after they have been in their care for 3 months.

     

  • Our Specialists

    Our legal teams have a genuine passion for what they do. Their specialist knowledge is an absolute given (you should accept nothing less) and they pride themselves in working alongside clients to help them achieve the results they seek in their professional and personal lives.

    If you have any questions get in touch

  • 01732 355911

    Charlotte specialises in child care and domestic abuse cases. She is a member of The Law Society Children Panel and of Resolution. With over ten years experience, having qualified in 2002,  of care proceedings and private law children cases Charlotte has an in depth knowledge of her field of work. She also has a particular interest in assisting and representing individuals in cases involving domestic abuse. She has acted for clients in all levels of Court up to and including the Court of Appeal.

     

  • Expertise

    • Acting for parents, other family members and foster carers within care proceedings and adoption cases
    • Applications for wardship and Special Guardianship Orders
    • Acting for parents and other family members in private law children cases – residence, contact, enforcement of contact Orders, change of surname, abduction and removing children from England and Wales

    What clients say

    “Your patience, kindness and professionalism at all times sustained me.” “Charlotte was very professional, supportive and helpful throughout the proceedings. She responded to all my calls, texts or emails timely; providing advice and support. Charlotte managed highly conflicted parents with professionalism at all times.”

    Notable cases

    Reported Cases:

    Re A (care proceedings: non-disclosure) [2009] EWCA Civ 1057

    Re L-W (Children) (Enforcement and Committal: Contact) [2010] EWCA Civ 1253 [2011] 1 FCR 78

    Other

    In her leisure time Charlotte enjoys spending time with her family, socialising with friends and playing competitive netball for a local team.

  • 01732 897925

    Colin Dearmer specialises in all areas of child care, including care proceedings, private law children proceedings and wardship.  He has a formidable record in acting for parents, children and children’s guardians.

    A qualified Social Worker from 1991, Colin worked as a senior Social Worker specialising in child protection and child care for a London Local Authority before qualifying as a solicitor in 1991.  He practised in Brixton and Southend, prior to joining our firm in 2007. Colin qualified as a solicitor in 1991.

    He is a member of the Law Society Children Panel and previously was an Assessor for the Law Society’s Children Panel since 1992. Colin is a member of the legal group of the British Association for Adoption and Fostering and has twice been Chair of the legal group. He is a member of the Adoption Panels for the London Borough of Bexley and the London Borough of Croydon.

    Colin has practised as a solicitor for 27 years and has been a member of the firm’s family dept since 2007

  • Expertise

    • All aspects of care proceedings
    • Wardship
    • Adoption
    • Any other disputes involving children

    Other

    Colin is a lifelong supporter of Portsmouth Football Club.

  • 01732 355911

    Prior to qualifying as a Solicitor in 2008 Jane was a qualified Social Worker specialising in child protection and child care in an outer London borough. She was an experienced Social Worker practitioner, Senior Manager and Independent Reviewing Officer and has an extensive working knowledge of Children’s Services procedures.

    Jane is a member of The Law Society Children Panel.

  • Expertise

    Jane was admitted in 2008. Jane specialises in child care law, particularly:

    • Representing parents, children and other family members in Care Proceedings
    • Representing parents and children via their Guardian in private law children cases

    What clients say

    “Because of you today I have my children with me. I will never forget in my life those days when I had hard times and you helped me.” "I do not feel that I could have had better help or support anywhere else. I was involved in a complex case and Jane Quantrill supported me 100% throughout. I could not have got through it without her."

    Other

    In her spare time Jane enjoys cycling, walking and generally keeping fit.