Gomer Williams Solicitors, based in Llanelli, represent parents, other involved adults and children who are the subject of Care Proceedings. We offer experienced, objective and professional legal support and guidance at what is often a very stressful time. We also offer legal advice and assistance on Adoption matters.
What are Care Proceedings?
Local authorities must inform parents and other adults with Parental Responsibility about their concerns for the child or children - so long as the child’s short-term safety allows them to do so. If you have received a letter about this you may be entitled to Legal Aid (public funding) so that you can have a legal representative with you to assist you.
What can the court do?
Courts can only make Interim Care Orders or Interim Supervision Orders if:
- They think there are reasonable grounds for believing that the child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm and
- The harm or likelihood of harm is attributable to the care the child is receiving or
- The child is ‘beyond parental control’
A local authority only has to establish ‘reasonable grounds’ and ‘likelihood of harm’ to obtain an interim care order - also referred to as a holding position pending the outcome of further investigation.
The court can also make other orders while the local authority carries out assessments, including:
- Interim Supervision Order
- Child Arrangements Order
What is a Care Order?
A Care Order means that the local authority shares Parental Responsibility (PR) with someone else who has PR for the child. Care Orders do allow local authorities to remove children from their current carers. However, they do have a duty to consider other family members before they place a child with foster carers and to rehabilitate children back to their parents, wherever possible. While a child is the subject of a Care Order, the local authority must arrange contact with the child’s parents or carers and it has general discretion in relation to other family members.
What is a Supervision Order?
A Supervision Order places a child under the supervision of a local authority and puts the appointed supervisor under a duty to:
- Advise, assist and befriend the child
- Take reasonable steps to give effect to the order
- Consider whether to apply to the court to change or end the order, if the supervisor believes it is no longer necessary or if it is not being fully complied
If care proceedings are issued, Gomer Williams can help parents to access support services and agencies, to help get the best result for the child.