What happens before care proceedings

1. If your child’s social worker is thinking about applying to court for a Care Order, they should send you a letter of intention to issue proceedings (unless there is an emergency). The letter should tell you why they are thinking of this and should invite you to a meeting to discuss what you could do to stop it happening. If you get this letter you should see a solicitor who specialises in children and family law straight away (you will not have to pay for this if you take the social worker’s letter with you)

2. Before going to court the social worker should also involve wider members of your family, to see if enough support can be offered to keep your child safe. They may ask, or you could suggest that a Family Group Conference is organised. A Family Group Conference is a meeting in which family members draw up a plan to make things better for your child, in consultation with professionals but it is led by the family with support from an independent co-ordinator.



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