Dealing with Care Proceedings
Questions we have been asked include:
‘Child taken into care’
‘Single dad, bad back, child fostered. Needs financial help to put in crÃ¨che‘
‘Man who had custody of his son became ill and Social Services have taken the son from
him. Who can he speak to?’
Mother phoned: wants ‘advice to avoid son going into care’.
Your first port of call should be your child’s social worker: try to work WITH the social worker – and also to make contact with the “guardian ad litem” if one has been appointed for your child by the court (which will usually be the case). If you are not satisfied with the social worker, you can ask to see the social worker’s manager – but this can easily be seen as being “aggressive” so needs to be done carefully. Remember that men are easily labelled as being “aggressive” and “threatening” so it is important to stay calm and reasonable, however frustrated you feel and however dismissively you are treated.
It’s very important that you get invited to all key decision making meetings and are included in the assessment and planning process.
You may need to obtain Parental Responsibility as a first step to playing a substantial part in your child’s life.
If you don’t get anywhere with Social Services, then you can phone:
The Children’s Legal Centre: tel: 01206 873820 (advice service Monday to Friday 10-12:30 and 2-5 pm)
The Family Rights Group: freephone number 0800 731 1696) (Mon to Fri: 10am-12pm and 1.30pm-3.30pm)
If you need to find our more about Parental Responsibility try:
Advice Now: An independent, not-for-profit website providing accurate, up-to-date information on rights and legal issues. Its information service brings together the best information on the law and rights from over 200 UK websites, summarised by experts, and presented here. http://www.advicenow.org.uk Very good section on Parental Responsibility, and how to get it: http://www.advicenow.org.uk/go/livingtogether/feature_256.html;jsessionid=aptnnMjDNAPd