Involving Social Services
It is important to note that regardless of your income or the nature of your case it is likely that you will be eligible for legal aid which means Staffordshire Family Law Solicitors can give you free legal advice and representation. It is also important that you understand why Social Services have become involved with your family. Social Services have a legal duty to ensure that no child within their area is at risk of harm and they must take every referral very seriously. Referrals can be from a school, a health worker, the police, a hospital, a neighbor or sometimes an anonymous caller. Whatever the source, the social worker has no choice but to investigate. Social Services may become involved with your family to;
- Carrying out a risk assessment
- Identify issues and provide monitoring and support
- Obtain a court order to protect your child
Just because you receive a visit it doesn’t mean Social Services will want to remove your children, nevertheless a visit from a social worker can still be frightening, confusing and may leave you very angry and frustrated. You will almost certainly have a lot of questions about what Social Services can and cannot do with your family. It is therefore essential that you receive the right legal advice early so that you have the confidence and support to deal with Social Services and importantly ensure that your views are heard. We will not only advise you on your legal rights but more importantly we will help you work with Social Services so you get the best possible outcome for your family. Often taking early legal advice can help to avoid Social Services taking further action or possibly applying to the Court to remove children. Do not wait until Social Services tell you that you need a solicitor! It is nearly always best to cooperate, but you do have rights and you should not feel bullied or scared into making any decisions. We would suggest that you never agree that your child can be removed without first speaking to one of our solicitors. Only the police or a court has the right to remove your child, and not a social worker.
If the Local Authority take steps to remove a child from its parents they will look firstly to extended family members to assist, therefore all sides of the family can find themselves involved and being assessed. We are routinely approached by family members concerned for children when social services have become involved. Our specialist solicitors are able to provide advice as to what you are able to do, negotiate with the Local Authority on your behalf and if necessary make an Application to the Court within the Care Proceedings to ensure that you are fully considered as vital connected persons to the child perceived to be at risk and facing permanent removal from his birth family.
We understand that at such frightening and confusing times you need the hands on assistance of your allocated Solicitor and also a human approach to what can feel like the most evasive invasion of your family life and personal circumstances. With Solicitors specializing solely in such matters you are guaranteed this service from Staffordshire Family Law.