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Care Proceedings

Free 30 Minute Consultation Available

Care Proceedings

If you need advice about social services’ involvement with your children call our specialist care team on our dedicated number.

If you, your children or your family are involved with social services or there are court proceedings, our specialist children team can help you.

Our Children Law specialists are experts in dealing with complex and sensitive child care proceedings. We represent thousands of people each year across the UK.

At a distressing and difficult time, we are here to give advice and support without judgement. We can provide assistance and advice to parents, family members, children and guardians across all aspects of child care proceedings.

The welfare of children is always paramount, and responsibility lies first and foremost with the parents. The Local Authority’s social services departments are under a legal obligation to intervene if they believe children may be at risk and are concerned about a child and their welfare.

The intervention and investigations can be hugely traumatic for everyone, and given their complexity and consequences, it’s essential that you seek expert help at the earliest opportunity.

 How we can help

Our Children Law specialists can support you and your family with any children law matter such as:

  • Where children may have suffered sexual abuse, physical or emotional harm
  • When Social Services raise concerns about a child’s safety
  • When a child is at risk of being taken into care
  • Where family members wish to care for a child who is at risk of being taken or has been taken into care
  • When a Local Authority seeks an Emergency Protection Order
  • Cases surrounding non-accidental injuries 
  • With other aspects of social care involvement with children, including;
    – pre-proceedings (PLO) meetings
    – case conferences
    – child assessment orders
    – 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 parenting is compromised through addiction, mental health issues or learning disabilities
  • Where children have special needs

Care Proceedings Howells Solicitors Free Legal Advice

Our Children Law specialists are supportive, patient and non-judgemental advisors. They will carefully explain all the procedures involved in child care cases to help remove any fear, worry or uncertainty about the legal process.

They know how distressing these procedures can be and they aim to minimise the stress and upset as much as possible by being there for you as a knowledgeable, sensitive and pro-active advisor.

As highly experienced specialists, they will use their skill and knowledge to support you and ensure the best possible outcome for the child. They will examine all funding options such as Legal Aid to make quality advice as accessible and affordable as possible.

They are also here to offer appropriate help and support in the aftermath of an investigation.

Care Proceedings Free Consultation

Our Family Law team offer a free 30 minute consultation for new clients and we offer flexible appointments that can be arranged around your work schedule.



Contacting Howells:

Call our New Enquiry Team on 0114 249 66 66 or email [email protected] for an initial chat about your situation.

We’ll listen carefully to you, clarify what you’re trying to achieve, and then explain if and how we can help you. We will take some initial information and liaise with a legal professional regarding your case. If it looks like we can help, we will book you in for a consultation with a legal professional.

The Care Proceedings team

The Howells Children Law 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.

Legal 500

The Legal 500 2022 edition ranks Family as a top tier firm in Yorkshire and Humber, saying “Family head Alyson Siddall, matrimonial specialist Sharon Lockwood and children team head Sarah Walker are the key names at Howells Solicitors. Based in Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley respectively, they oversea a team that is particularly well  known for high net worth cases with assets ranging from three to six million pounds.

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

Common Questions

Q.When do I need a Child Care solicitor about my children

A.If social workers are telling you they are worried about your children or expected baby, then you can talk to us about what might happen. You should speak to us even if your child has not been born yet.

Q.Will my children be taken away from me if a social worker takes me to court?

A.The future care of your children is up to a judge. Not every child care case ends up with children staying away from their parents and/or family. Sometimes the application to court is not even to ask that the child should be removed into foster care. What happens at court depends on the facts of your case. You should come and talk to us as soon as possible if this is happening to you. We can give you advice about what might happen and often we can suggest things to do to try to make your situation better.

Q.Don’t social workers just want children to be adopted to make their statistics look good?

A.Parents and family members often think this, particularly if you don’t agree with what the social worker is saying. Adoption of a child is such a huge step to take that a judge will only allow this to happen if there are no other realistic ways for a child to stay in their family. A social worker has to look at all of those ways. Adoption is a last resort for everyone.

Q.My child is old enough to tell the judge that they don’t want to go into foster care, will that be able to happen?

A.Children don’t often go to court to talk to the judge, but each child has an adult speaking on their behalf. The adult is called a Children’s Guardian. They tell the judge what the child is saying and will recommend to the judge what they think should happen, independently of the social worker (and you). Your child will also have their own solicitor who works with the Children’s Guardian and makes sure your child's opinion is known to the judge. Although it is not guaranteed that your child's requests will be granted, the judge will hear their view and take that into account. If your child is mature enough, occasionally they may be able to attend court to talk to the judge directly.