Are Child Service Causing Problems?
It is an unfortunate fact of life that child services now have the power the “interfere” with family life and the upbringing of children. Although sometimes required, this power if frequently causing unnecessary distress to innocent families.
How can we help?
Put the power of Berkeley Solicitors in your corner. Our Fixed Fee Child Services Plan has been created out of the demand for assistance for innocent families broken up by Child Services. Any parent can suddenly find themselves innocently wrapped up in various legal complexities. Such as intervention, welfare plans or even the forceful removal of a parent or a child. Possibly even for adoption! A simple, innocent child’s comment can lead to Child Services involvement in parenting issues and the removal of a parent and/or child from the home. Possibly even the arrest and criminal charge of a parent!
It is a fundamental human right of every child to be raised by their parents and of every parent to raise their child, provided it is safe. Where this is not possible, there is strong evidence that children are more likely to thrive within their wider family network than within the care system.
Care proceedings have risen substantially in recent years. Children taken into the care system are regularly separated from siblings and often face multiple, temporary placements. Recent family justice reforms are only speeding up Court decisions and the Adoption process. Yet there is a severe shortage of foster carers and adopters. Moreover, every child taken into care is extremely costly in terms of the public purse as well as the emotional and financial costs to parents, families and children.
Berkeley Solicitors believes that considerably more could be done to prevent children from needing to be taken into care in the first place. We know from our advice service that parents are struggling to get the early help they need to stop problems escalating into a crisis. For example, the closure of refuge places and impact of welfare reforms means some mothers are unable to leave violent relationships. The fundamental withdrawl of Legal Aid Funding mean our advice service is unable to directly advise everyone who tries to contact us. However, although Berkeley Solicitors is not a free advice service and we need to be paid for our services, we do have a caring attitude to to suitability of our Fees and the realistic payment that a client can make.
There are 300,000 children in the UK raised by family and friends carers, normally grandparents or older siblings. These children have suffered similar adversities to those in the care system, yet the support they receive (or lack of it) bears little if any relationship to their needs. We also know that more could be done to enable children who cannot live with their parents, to be safely raised by a family member who knows and loves them.
Berkeley Solicitors can help …
- Offering confidential telephone advice service and website providing legal and practical advice to families involved with social care services
- Supporting family and friends carers who are raising a relative or friend’s child, assisting local support groups for these carers and seeking to ensure they can get the support they need from Children’s Services and other agencies
- Promoting family group conferences as an effective family-led decision making process which provides safe solutions to child welfare concerns
- Advocating, advising and assisting parents whose children are subject to child protection inquiries or at risk of being removed into care
- Promoting legislation, policy and practice that respects the right to family life and promotes and safeguards children’s welfare
Most importantly, any parent will feel abused by and let down by a Child Services intervention, questioning their suitability as a parent. Berkeley Solicitors will be your support, advising, assisting and advocating for you and being there to listen to the issues which are tearing your life and your family apart. Put Berkeley Solicitors in your corner. We’re on YOUR side!
Berkeley Solicitors supports the work of the Family Rights Group. Their web site is full of very useful information, forms and precedents and provides a wealth of information in Child Services procedures and powers. We advise you to take a look at their site here: www.frg.org.uk or call their advice line on 0808 801 0366
PLEASE NOTE: There have been changes to law and practice in the last few weeks, particularly regarding the assessment of children’s needs, child protection enquires and legal aid. We are currently in the process of updating our advice information to include these changes but in the meantime if you have questions about any of the issues, please speak to us.
Remember, your first appointment is FREE whilst we assess how we may be able to assist you.