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Family Law - Care Proceedings

We have a specialist department who can assist you with the best Legal Advice and Support if the Local Authority are involved with your children and are considering or have started Care Proceedings. We can also provide advice to Family members who may wish to join the proceedings to be assessed to take care of a child considered to be "at risk".

When will a local authority make an application to take children into care?

The types of concerns that may trigger a local authority to apply to the court include:


When the local authority believes a child is being neglected. Neglect involves ongoing, serious failure to meet a child’s basic needs and can include:

  • not taking the child to see a doctor when they need to go
  • not giving the child enough to eat or drink
  • not ensuring the child receives an education
  • not keeping the child clean.


When the local authority is worried that a child has been, or is likely to be, abused either by their parents or carers, or other people they know. Abuse includes:

  • physical abuse, which is inflicting pain or injury to a child and also includes giving a child harmful substances, such as drugs, alcohol or poison
  • sexual abuse, when a child is pressured, forced or tricked into taking part in any kind of sexual activity
  • emotional abuse, when a parent or carer behaves in a way that is likely to seriously affect the child’s emotional development. This can include constant rejection, continual and/or severe criticism and witnessing domestic abuse.

How long do care proceedings take?

The courts will try to make a decision about what is going to happen to your child within 26 weeks of the application being made (about six months).

During that time a lot will be happening. People, including the Cafcass Children’s Guardian and the local authority social worker, will be trying to understand the reasons why a child may be at risk and what can be done to keep them safe.

They will carry out assessments to help decide whether a child can return home or whether they should stay in care. There may also be assessments of other family members or friends who may be suitable carers if a child does not return home.


Should you require any assistance please call us on 0161 834 6662 or email