Emma Clough and Jane Leadbetter each have over 20 years experience in family law particularly specialising in care proceedings and related matters.
Emma and Jane are both members of the Law Society Children Panel accredited to represent not just family members but also the children themselves, through professional Guardians.
Emma and Jane are regularly instructed by CAFCASS officers to represent the children, which is a recognition of their experience. This is a highly-specialised area of law where you need a panel member to advise you. Care proceedings are proceedings, which involve social workers who work for the local authority who express concerns about the way in which children are cared for.
Sometimes they involve social workers seeking to remove children from their parents or family members. Clearly this is often a very distressing time for the family and Emma and Jane are very sensitive to the emotions of clients and relatives and will deal with your case in a very supportive, friendly yet professional manner at all times. If social workers are concerned with your family you should immediately seek advice from our panel experts. The local authority may be involved through case conference procedures and the child/children may be the subject of a child protection plan.
We can represent you at these initial case conferences and conference reviews. We can advise you throughout that process. If the local authority become more concerned and are considering issuing Court proceedings they may instigate the Public Law Outline process and invite you to a meeting with your solicitor to discuss this. It is very important that we attend with you at this meeting. If the social workers still remained concerned then they may issue Court proceedings.
These proceedings should conclude within 26 weeks but can be complex. Emma and Jane are here to provide you with support and advice through all these stages, but please seek advice as soon as possible. If you are a parent or a child subject to these proceedings you will receive public funding. Other family members involved may also receive public funding but this will be subject to a means and merits test.
We are on occasions able to negotiate with local authorities to pay family members’ legal costs in certain circumstances where legal aid is not available.
Please contact Emma Clough on 01924 473065 or Jane Leadbetter on 01924 443900 to arrange a free 30 minutes consultation.