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Care Proceedings

Professional legal advice cannot change the past but it can make a huge difference to your future.

Our team of child care specialists represent parents, children, other family members and guardians in matters where Local Authorities, in the shape of their Social Services departments, become involved in family life.
If you need advice about social services involvement with your children call our specialist care team on our dedicated number 0114 2496693

Child care and child protection is a tough balancing act. The welfare of children is always paramount and responsibility lies first and foremost with the parents. But Social Services departments are also under a legal obligation to intervene if they believe children may be at risk. The resultant investigations and proceedings can be hugely traumatic for everyone, and given their complexity and consequences, it’s essential that you seek expert help at the earliest opportunity.

We can help

  • When Social Services raise concerns about a child’s safety
  • When a child is at risk of being taken into care
  • When a Local Authority seeks an Emergency Protection Order
  • With all aspects of child care proceedings, including pre-proceedings meetings, case conferences, care orders, child assessment orders and child protection reviews
  • When parents wish to make contact with children in care
  • Where parents seek the return of a child in care and the discharging of care orders
  • Where family members wish to care for a child who is at risk of being taken or has been taken into care
  • Where children may have suffered sexual abuse or physical or emotional harm
  • Where parenting is compromised through addiction, mental health issues or
    learning disabilities
  • Where children have special needs

Our aims

  • To be a supportive, patient, non-judgemental advisor throughout
  • To remain proactive, responsive and committed for the duration
  • To handle all proceedings in such a way that we minimise distress and upset
  • To carefully explain the procedures involved in child care cases to help remove any fear, worry or mystery about the legal process
  • To use all our skill, sensitivity and experience to ensure the best possible outcome for the child
  • To communicate regularly and openly and always be ready to listen
  • To examine funding options such as Legal Aid and make the quality advice you need accessible and affordable
  • To offer appropriate help and support in the aftermath of an investigation


Because we know that it can be hard to find time, where possible we offer flexible appointments to suit you. Our Sheffield office opens until 7.00pm every Wednesday to accommodate late appointments.

All of our offices offer a free 30 minute pre-booked initial appointment on your first visit with us. To book an appointment call 01226 805 190.

The Care Proceedings team

The Howells team is one of the best in the country. It has been consistently highly ranked for family work in the north, and is overseen by the hugely respected and much admired Alyson Siddall. Alyson has developed a group of many talents but with shared values. Tough and resolute in their legal representation, sensitive and compassionate in their client relationships, the team understand that they’re not dealing with ‘cases’ but with people, not bound up in legal process but in real lives.

The Care Proceedings team are part of the Family Law department at Howells.

The Legal 500 2018 ranks the Family department highly and states that Howells is “Howells handles the full spectrum of matrimonial work and children law matters. Alyson Siddall is ‘hugely experienced but always still keen to learn’, and heads the department which benefits from individuals based across Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley. Siddall is regularly instructed in complex financial arrangements and has additional expertise in private children matters and collaborative law. Sharon Lockwood is another key name to note for financial work, while Sarah Walker is highlighted for childcare matters.”

Please click here to view the family law department staff profiles.