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Care proceedings & child protection

Contact with children in care

If one of your children or grandchildren has been taken into the care of the local authority, you may be concerned about how easy it will be to have contact with them. In the absence of any court order to protect the child from a particular person, the authority should be encouraging contact with the family, including siblings and grandparents.

However, families often encounter difficulties in maintaining a relationship with a child in care, and reasons can include:

  • if the child is placed far from the family home;
  • if the family struggle to pay for travel;
  • if the local authority is not cooperative;
  • if the local authority refuses to authorise contact;

Even if contact with someone is prohibited, this should be kept under review, to allow contact to resume as soon as it is safe.

Who we can help

We support parents, grandparents and other relatives involved in care proceedings.

We also act separately for children who are old enough and have sufficient understanding to instruct a solicitor themselves. Generally, this applies to teenagers only, but sometimes children as young as 10 can be found to be of sufficient understanding.

How we can help

If you would like to spend more time with your child or change the way in which you have contact, then it may be possible to apply to the court.

The family court will have the child’s best interests at heart, and it starts from the perspective that reasonable family contact is a positive thing which helps a child to have a sense of belonging.

Our experienced solicitors will explain your rights, guide you through the process and represent you at court, exploring every option for improving contact.

Funding for legal advice or representation

Legal Aid funding is available for parents and others with parental responsibility if the local authority has a care order relating to a child in the family, subject to a test based on your finances and the merits of your case. .

Contact our family law team

Contact us right away if you are affected by any of these issues, for compassionate, specialist advice.