Adoption & Care Proceedings

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How do care proceedings work?

When social services are concerned about a child’s welfare they will look closely at the child’s situation and family life. Taking children away from their parents should normally be the last step social services take to make sure the children are safe and well cared for.  Help and assistance should also be offered to the parents. A parent or parents should always be involved in decisions made about their child or children unless a court has decided they should not.

The welfare of children is the most important consideration and it can often feel to the parents that they are being pushed aside or treated unfairly. However, the safety and protection of the child involved will usually be the first priority.  Where arrangements for the child or children cannot be agreed, the local authorities are enabled to take protective measures for the child or children in their area.  The social services have a statutory duty of care towards these children.

The main orders within care proceedings are:

  • Emergency Protection Orders.
  • Care Orders.
  • Interim Care Orders.
  • Supervision Orders.
  • Interim Supervision Orders.
  • Child Assessment Orders.

Some meetings and procedures may take place without court proceedings- such as Child Protection Conferences, Core Groups and Pre-Proceedings (known as Letter before Action Meetings).

Police Protection Orders can occur without proceedings in place but they can only last for 72 hours.

How can we help?

At Brighton & Hove Law, we are experienced in working through difficult and complicated circumstances. If you have received a letter before proceedings, social services have taken your child into care or have threatened to do so, it is important that you are represented by a specialist who can guide you through this process. It is important you seek legal advice as soon as possible, as you will generally qualify for legal aid. We can obtain this for you on an emergency basis if necessary. Please contact us if you have any questions or feel you need our help.

Client Testimonials

Even though I am not your client, I would like to thank you for your prompt responses and the help you have provided.

I would certainly recommend you to anyone looking for a family lawyer.

Ms S – Brighton

Thank you for all your help Sarah. I would not have got to this point on my own without your help. I appreciate everything you’ve done and the way you have always been so approachable and understanding of my situation. Without having you there this past year, I would be in a much more anxious and unhappy state of mind – and I would have felt helpless and unable to speak during the hearings.

Ms G

Dear Jennifer,

I would just like to say a massive thank you to you and your team. I am so pleased that you have represented me and helped me win my children back into my life. Your legal advice is second to none and you are very approachable. This made me feel very comfortable and confident throughout.

Mr R 

I would just like to say from me and my family that you are amazing. From beginning to end you have been fantastic. We can’t thank you enough for everything you have done to help us in achieving our goals. Thank you for everything I really can’t put into the words my true feelings of joy.

Mr H

Samantha Barker at Brighton and Hove Law conducts her cases with competent vigour which undoubtedly makes the role of our barristers seamless. 

Steve Lavell, Director of Clerking

Many thanks for your advice and guidance throughout this very stressful process. Your careful and considered approach, good advice and empathetic professionalism have helped to reduce my anxiety levels immeasurably. I would wholeheartedly and unreservedly recommend your services to anyone going through this horrible process.


Dear Michelle,

I just wanted to say a big thank you for your kindness, patience and strength you showed us. We got through this due to some very special people and you were one of them. We could not have achieved this resolution without your guidance and care.

Ms M

Thank you for all your help through my divorce. It has truly been an incredibly stressful ordeal, much more than I ever thought it would be. What I originally thought would be a simple and even quick divorce and parting of the ways, turned into something really quite different and ugly. However, you have kept me updated through the whole procedure, explained my options to me and the process. Some of which not always clear to me so thank you for your patience. You have also been mindful of costings of which I am grateful. Your attention to detail was also very reassuring, especially at a times when I just wanted the whole thing to be over.
So again, thank you.

Mrs W – Brighton 

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