It is Important You Seek Legal Advice as Soon as Possible
There may have been an incident where the police were called and your child may have been taken by the police due to the circumstances at that time; this is called a police protection order and it does not involve the Court. This is part of the powers held by police officers to protect a child from harm if they believe there is an imminent danger. Information will be passed to the Local Authority and they will make a decision as to whether the matter needs to go before the Court.
Once before the Court, there is an expectation that the case will be completed within 26 weeks. This is often extended. The Court will have to approve any assessments requested and will set a timetable for the case. The Court will make the ultimate decision as to who will care for the child for the remainder of their minority.
We can help at every stage of the Court process. As a parent you will be eligible for non-means non-merits legal aid for the entire case. This will cover representation at Court, expert reports and assessments and correspondence in relation to the case. We can advise you about the concerns that are raised and how best to deal with them. We can advise you about what assessments may be needed and can apply for these to be completed. We can prepare your evidence and put you in touch with relevant agencies to assist you.
It is important you seek legal advice as soon as possible if you are informed care proceedings are taking place and that you engage with the proceedings throughout.