When social services get involved in your life with concerns about your children it can be very scary and difficult to know what to do and what your rights are. You should take advice from a lawyer as soon as possible.
Social services generally get involved at three points:
- Child protection conferences / team around the child
- Proceedings (going to court)
If you are asked to attend a pre-proceedings meeting, or you are served with papers commencing care proceedings you will automatically be entitled to legal aid – so all your legal representation will be free of charge.
Some parents become involved with social services when their children are in hospital. This is especially upsetting. Taking early legal advice is extremely important in these circumstances.
If you are asked to attend a child protection conference to discuss your child there is no automatic legal aid but please contact us in any event – many parents are still eligible for some free advice.