At Lupton Fawcett, we understand that involvement from social services can lead to feelings of fear, anger and confusion, which is why we are here to provide advice and support throughout social service proceedings.
If you have been contacted by social services and require representation at meetings, or want to know more about your rights, contact us today by calling 0333 323 5292, or by filling in then enquiry form on this page and someone will be in touch.
What are Social Services?
Social services can become involved with a family for a variety of reasons, including providing support during stressful times, helping care for disabled children, when a child is placed up for adoption and when a child has suffered or is likely to suffer significant harm.
They can be called upon by a family for assistance, but it also has a duty to intervene when a referral is made regarding concerns of a child’s welfare. The action taken by social services depends on the situation, the risk of any harm to a child and levels of cooperation by a family.
Upon a referral, social services have five options, including:
- Taking no further action
- Providing support to the family
- Referring the matter to other agencies for assistance
- Undertaking an initial assessment to evaluate a family’s case
- Making an application to court to protect a child from harm
The Responsibilities of Social Services
If social services identify issues of concern in relation to you children, they may:
- Create a Child in Need Plan and arrange a Child in Need Meeting outlining parents’ responsibilities and the services required to improve a child’s welfare
- Undertake an assessment if a social worker believes a child has been harmed or is at risk of harm
- Hold a Child Protection Conference meeting, which allows parents and professionals involved in a child’s life (e.g. teachers, health visitors, GPs and so on) to share information and come to a decision as to whether children have been subject to abuse
- Place a child on the Child Protection Register and outline a Child Protection Plan to identify to parents the expectations and responsibilities to ensure a child’s safety
- Initiate a Public Law Outline (PLO) in serious cases where a social worker’s concerns have escalated, possibly resulting in court proceedings being issued
It is imperative that parents attend any meetings arranged by social services, so you can work together to improve the welfare and safety of a child. Our specialist solicitors can provide legal representation throughout proceedings to ensure you fully understand the situation and your options.
For more information on social services, please take a look at our FAQs below.
Please note this information is provided by way of example and may not be complete and is certainly not intended to constitute legal advice. You should take bespoke advice for your circumstances.
Private Law Children Case Study – Determining a specific issue
Our client, Mrs X separated from her husband Mr Y 4 years ago, however as a result of their relationship, they have 2 children who they co-parent.
Our client, Mrs A and her husband, Mr A, had separated about one year ago following a number of years where they had been drifting apart.
Court of Protection – protecting the vulnerable
Our client, Mrs A is the mother of a young adult with severe learning difficulties. She had cared for him for all 25 years of his life. She and her husband, Mr B, separated and Mrs A continued to care for their child.
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