I have received a Letter before Proceedings – what should I do?

25th May 2021

When you receive a Letter before Proceedings 

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 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 is the last chance for you 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 a very important meeting usually with a Solicitor for Children’s Services, the Social Worker and the parents and their Solicitor.

The meetings are held roughly every 8-12 weeks and will involve Children’s Services going through their concerns and allowing you to have your say. By the end of the 12 weeks, Children’s Services should be able to indicate their long-term plan for your family.

Here at Hannays Solicitors and Advocates, we understand how difficult it can be when Children’s Services are involved with your family and are here to support you through the process.

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