I received a Letter before Proceedings from Children’s Services – what should I do?

When you receive a Letter before Proceedings from Children’s Services it can be quite upsetting.

The first thing you should do is to take the letter to a Solicitor who provides advice on Family and Children law.

Don’t worry about fees or the cost as the letter itself entitles you to free legal advice.

Children’s Services issue a Letter before Proceedings (also known as a Public Law Outline letter) when their concerns are so great that they are considering issuing Care Proceedings. The proceedings will be within the Family Court, where one of the options can be for the Local Authority to apply for an Order to remove a child from the family unit and into foster care.

The purpose of the Letter before Proceedings process is to avoid Care Proceedings being issued or to narrow the issues if proceedings are brought before the Court.

The letter puts you on warning that you are being given a last chance to show Children’s Services that their concerns can be addressed.

It important to contact your Solicitor when you receive the letter as it followed shortly by notification of a very important meeting, usually with a Solicitor for Children’s Services, the Social Worker, the parents  of the child or children and the parents Solicitor.

These meetings may become a regular event, being held approximately every 8-12 weeks.

The meetings allows Children’s Services  to present their concerns and allows the parents to have their say.

Usually by the end of the 12 weeks, Children’s Services should be able to set out their long-term plans.

Here at Hannays Solicitors and Advocates, we understand how stressful and difficult it can be when Children’s Services are involved with your family and are here to support you through the process. Everyone in this process should be working for the well-being and benefit of the child or children involved.

Please contact us on 0191 455 5361 to make an appointment.