The Social Services Department of local government can intervene in your family life if it suspects that your children are at risk of harm or you need assistance caring for your children. Ultimately they have the power, in appropriate cases, to remove your children from your care and even place them for adoption or fostering.
When it comes to the protection and care of your children you need specialist legal advice, and it is important that you speak with our childcare consultant Miss Farah Gilani who has experience of this complex area of law and understands the practice of social services departments and what they can and cannot do. Miss Gilani is a member of the Children Law panel of the Law Society.
So, if you are involved with child social services or involved with care, supervision or enforced adoption proceedings under the Children Act 1989 contact us as soon as it is convenient for you to do so.
Once the Local Authority have sent you a "Letter before Action", you will probably be entitled to legal aid in these cases since the parents of children automatically qualiify and the legal aid is non-means and non-merits tested so almost everyone will receive legal aid. Automatic legal aid is not available to grandparents, however, and grandparents applying for legal aid would have to meet a financial means test and a legal merits test.