Child Care Team

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Lucy Gregory

Solicitor Advocate

Samantha Barker

Solicitor Advocate

Sarah Dummett

Chartered Legal Executive

Jennifer Lynch

Solicitor Advocate

Care proceedings

The council can start care proceedings if they’re very worried about a child. They can apply for a care order, which means the council will assume parental responsibility for your child and can determine where your child can live.

The council can also apply for a placement order as well if they believe that the child should be adopted. This allows the council to place the child with suitable adopters.

Interim care orders

At the start of care proceedings, the council asks the family court to make a temporary court order called an interim care order. If the court agrees, the council can take the child into care on a temporary basis. This can be for up to 8 weeks.

Looking at the case

It can take up to 26 weeks for a court to decide what should happen to the child. Some complex cases can take longer.

During this time a social worker and an officer from the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) will look into the reasons why the child may be at risk. They will also look at what can be done to keep them safe. They will talk to the parents and the child. They may talk to other family members or friends about looking after the child if they cannot safely live at home. The parents might also get support.


The social worker and Cafcass officer will each write a report for the court. These will outline what they think should happen to the child. They will include whether they think the child should be taken into care or stay with the family.

Once all the information has been gathered, there will be a court hearing.

Client Testimonials

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

If I could give an abundance of stars to rate Brighton and Hove Law I would. They have given an excellent service all round.
The care and personal attention given has been amazing. The support and understanding has been unmeasurable.


Thank you very much for your help, you were fantastic, and I really appreciate how you have handled matters in such a professional and quick manner

Mr G

Thank you very much Sarah – it feels really good that everything is done and dusted. I can’t believe it was so simple really – thank you for all your support!
I have been recommending you and will continue to do so.

Mrs D – East Sussex

I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for your services, advice and much help you gave me this year. You were very kind and patient with me Lucy and I could not have got through it without you.

Ms C

Lucy is a robust, calm and thoughtful solicitor with an amazing eye for detail and sound judgement. She is a strategic thinker who is excellent with clients, approachable, empathetic and gives clear advice that is always focused on a pragmatic outcome. She goes above and beyond to assist clients and is top-tier.

Ben Earle, Barrister

I have had the pleasure of working with Sarah on some very complex and difficult cases over the years.  She never loses sight of the client’s objectives but makes sure they receive realistic and sensible advice. Her case preparation is excellent and she is always willing to go the extra mile when necessary. When I receive a brief from Sarah I know that the case will be conducted effectively and efficiently. She is a consummate professional and a delight to work with.

Amanda Clarke, Barrister

Many thanks for your advice and guidance throughout this very stressful process. Your careful and considered approach, your good advice and your 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.


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