Withdrawal of Section 20. How do I go about seeking legal advice?

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Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2016 10:41 am

Withdrawal of Section 20. How do I go about seeking legal advice?

Post by MrsS016 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 3:47 pm

My 10 month old son is currently in a foster placement under a voluntary Section 20, due to a deterioration in my mental health.
In a few weeks, after I have settled in with my current treatment plan, I will be seriously thinking about withdrawing the section 20.
I know I need to seek legal advice sooner rather than later, but... how the bloody hell do I go about doing this? Is it something I am going to have to end up paying for? D I go directly to a solicitors, or would the C.A.B be a better first port of call?
I have no desire to withdraw without a steady plan, so would like to get the ball rolling now, rather than when (if) I decide to withdraw.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Withdrawal of Section 20. How do I go about seeking legal advice?

Post by Suzie, FRG Adviser » Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:28 pm

Dear Mrs S,

I am sorry to hear about your son being in accommodated in foster care with your agreement due to your mental health deteriorating.

Here is some helpful information about accommodation.

You want to know about withdrawing your consent and your son returning home-when your mental health improves again and would like legal advice about this. You are right to want to get legal advice before you withdraw your consent. it is really important that you do get advice first.

If you withdrew your consent before you were well enough, children services might be worried about the care you give to your son, and may issue Court (care proceedings) to keep your son in foster care.
Once care proceedings have been issued, then any long term plans about where your son would be living (until he is 18) would usually be decided within 26 weeks.

How to get legal advice

1)You could find a solicitor who specialises in children law-public law proceedings from the law Society-find a solicitor. Often a solicitor who is on the “Children Panel” or who has a law society accreditation to undertake children law is likely to be more experienced.

You could be entitled to legal aid (free legal advice), if you are:
• on a low income,
• benefits,
• or if children services are thinking about taking court proceedings in respect of your son. ( pre proceedings process (public law outline)- ). The social worker would then issue you with a letter to give to your solicitor.

Or you could also call our advice line on 0808 801 0366 for advice about children services and your situation.

If you are a parent who is 30 or under, you could get self- advocacy and more support from us via the young parents project. Here is our referral form.

Do you have an advocate who could help you access a legal advice? Ask your mental health team about this or you could call

Mind about finding an advocate.

If you have any questions please post again or call our advice line on 0808 801 0366.

Best wishes,


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