Court orders concerning children are something that VCW Law specialise in. Our experienced team of family law solicitors provide a wide range of specialist support in this sector.
VCW Law have a dedicated team of family law solicitors and divorce lawyers, paying particular attention to Grandparents rights.
Adoption Placement Orders can be sought so that a child you wish to adopt can live with you.
Special Guardianship Orders enable a child to live with you so you can ensure the child has a secure upbringing without a full adoption order being required.
Social Services may seek to have a child taken into care but parents, guardians or carers are entitled to Legal Aid and the advice of a solicitor who can liaise with Social Services, and help them to present their case at the Pre-Proceedings Meeting. (Also known as a PLO (Public Law Outline) meeting).
Parental responsibility is a term the Children Act uses to describe who has the right to decided how a child will be raised. This includes their education, religion and all other welfare issues. Unmarried fathers do not automatically have parental responsibility but can be given it by signing a Court approved Parental Responsibility Agreement with the mother or applying for an order to be issued by the Court.
Changing a child’s name requires the agreement of both parents or a court order. We can assist with the process either way.
Sometimes parents may need Social Services to help to temporarily or permanently accommodate their children in a residential care home or with foster parents. Parents have the right to ask for their child to be returned but disputes can easily arise over the care arrangements for a child who has been given accommodation or with a foster family. In some cases, social services may consider adoption would provide a more stable life for the child. VCW Law can help if you find yourself in this very difficult position.
A Child Protection Conference is a meeting between parents, guardians or carers, Social Services and other agencies, when concerns have been reported about the welfare of a child. They will be arranged if an Emergency Protection Order or Police Powers of Protection Order are used to intervene in the care of a child. Child Protection Conferences may occur because there have been allegations of abuse, physical injury, or domestic violence or if there is concern a known abuser resides with the child.
Sometimes a relative such as Grandparent may wish to assume Parental Responsibility and this may be referred to as Kinship. It may give rise to a need to formalise the arrangement and ensure financial arrangements can be put in place to support a child. We can help ensure a carer receives the same financial support as a local authority arranged foster carer would.
If you receive a Pre-proceedings Letter you should contact VCW Law straight away. They lead to formal meetings and can have a considerable impact of how matters will proceed. Formally agreed arrangements may be sought by the local authority following such meetings. You are very likely to be eligible for public funding (Legal Aid) to pay for our services. Parents do not have to attend Pre-proceedings Meeting, but should do so to ensure they are fully informed about any planned Social Services involvement, which may lead to an application for a Care Order. VCW Law would always advise they be invited to attend such meetings.
Care Orders can place your child in care and make them the responsibility of social services. As parents, you have the right to object. VCW Law can help you to object and assist to have an order overturned.
Police Protection Orders can be used as an emergency measure to protect a child at immediate risk of harm, such as physical or sexual abuse. They last for 72 hours and enable the police to remove a child until Social Services decide whether to apply for a Care Order. VCW Law would respond very quickly to such an emergency situation.
A Supervision Order may be made to enable a local authority to monitor a child’s welfare and maintain a degree of control, without taking the child into care. VCW Law can apply to the court to have a Supervision Order discharged.