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Care Proceedings

If you receive notice of court proceedings for your child it is essential that you take advice straightaway.

We know that this can be a very worrying time and have experts in Chesterfield, Sheffield and Mansfield ready to help.

What should I do if I have received notice of court proceedings?

Legal Aid Available

Legal Aid is available to all parents and those with parental responsibility for a child who is involved in care proceedings. This Legal Aid is available regardless of a parent’s financial means and without any contribution payable.

Legal Aid is sometimes available to other persons involved in Care Proceedings, such as other family members or carers and those who have been invited to intervene in the care proceedings to defend against allegations made. This Legal Aid is usually subject to a financial means and merits test.

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If you receive notice of care proceedings in court for your child, it is essential that you take advice from a legal expert straight away. We know that this can be a very worrying and distressing time. It is important that you have every opportunity to achieve the best outcome for you and your family. Our expert Care Solicitors will help you understand what is happening at each stage of the process.

Why have I been issued with Care Proceedings in court?

The Local Authority may begin court proceedings following pre-proceedings meetings with Social Services under the Public Law Outline or PLO. Sometimes care proceedings are issued urgently and may involve allegations of injury to a child. Care proceedings may involve a child’s parents, but may also involve other carers for a child.  Third parties may be invited to intervene in court proceedings if allegations are being made of non-accidental injury or sexual misconduct.

Our team can represent you at short notice and we are able to advise you on your rights and argue how you may be able to safely care for your child.

What are non-accidental injuries?

When an injury to a child has been identified, either with no explanation or with an unacceptable explanation, it is likely that social services will become involved, and the Local Authority will start care proceedings against those with parental responsibility.

These injuries are described as a Non-Accidental Injury (NAI) and the term can be used widely for various types of injuries, often including:

  • Shaken baby syndrome
  • Broken Bones 
  • Smothering
  • Poisoning
  • Bruising
  • Infant death

Where a non-accidental injury is suspected, there are many issues that will need to be considered by all parties, and it is important to have experienced legal representation at this point.

Expert Care Proceedings Solicitors

Several of our care solicitors are on the Law Society's Children Panel. Only solicitors who meet the Law Society’s exacting accreditation requirements are permitted to join the Children Panel and represent children in public law care proceedings.

Our experts in public law care proceedings can provide you with support and guidance throughout the care proceeding's process. We are specialists in cases involving non-accidental injury and child neglect. 

Legal 500 - Recommend Lawyer 2024

Legal 500 - Recommended Lawyer 2024Our Care team have been included in the prestigious Legal 500 for many years with Vince Beckworth and Jason Burnett named “Recommended Lawyers” for their continued commitment to providing high quality, customer- focused legal services to clients.

“Vince Beckworth leads the busy care proceedings team where he is highly regarded for his representation of parents, family members and interveners in children’s care proceedings”

“Vince Beckworth, is exceptional in his commitment to his clients and to ensuring that they have the best advice and support available.”

“Jason Burnett is approachable and very client-focused”

“Jason Burnett who is a very safe pair of hands”


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