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Child Care Proceedings Solicitors

While we all want what is best for our children, it can sometimes be difficult to know exactly what to do to achieve it. Child care related issues such as social services involvement in your family can be incredibly stressful and traumatic. Our friendly and compassionate child care solicitors understand the pressures you are under and are here to help and support you during this challenging time.

At Whiskers Solicitors, we have a team of dedicated family law solicitors who provide advice on child care proceedings to individuals across Harlow and Epping, Essex and Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire.

Our support and representation covers a broad range of public and private children law matters, including care proceedings, child protection proceedings, and arrangements for children in separation and divorce matters.

For most public and some private children law matters, you may be eligible for legal aid to help with your fees. We can discuss your eligibility with you and help you secure funding if possible.

For further information or to set up an initial appointment with one of our child care solicitors, please get in touch with:

How our child law solicitors can help you

We combine extensive knowledge of child care law and child protection law with years of practical experience to help empower families when they are at their most vulnerable.

We can handle every aspect of your case on your behalf, from liaising with social services to arranging representation during court proceedings. We approach every case with sensitivity and respect but will robustly defend you and your family’s best interests every step of the way.

Our expertise covers all aspects of child care law, including:

  • Care Orders
  • Supervision Orders
  • Emergency Protection Orders
  • Placement Orders and Adoption Orders
  • Wardship
  • Social services procedures, including:
    • Pre-proceedings meetings
    • Child protection conferences
  • Private children law orders, including:
    • Child Arrangements Orders
    • Specific Issue Orders
    • Prohibited Steps Orders
    • Special Guardianship Orders
  • Domestic abuse
  • Allegations of neglect or abuse

We are recognised experts as members of the Law Society Children Law Accreditation and Family Law Accreditation schemes. Amongst our talented lawyers, Reza Sabzevari is a recognised children’s representative with specialist expertise representing children and promoting their best interests during family law proceedings.

We are also members of Resolution, an organisation which promotes the constructive, non-combative resolution of family law matters.

Fees for child care proceedings

For most public children law (social services) proceedings, it is likely you will be eligible for legal aid to help with your fees.

For private children law matters, we can discuss your funding options with you, including reasonable fixed fees where possible. Fee remission and legal aid may also be available for families on benefits/low income or where there are issues of domestic abuse.

Children and social services

The social services department of your local authority can seek a Care Order if they think your child is not receiving the care they need and this is causing them harm or putting them at risk of harm.

A Care Order gives the local authority responsibility to decide where your child will live and make decisions about their welfare. Apart from in emergency situations, a Care Order is a last resort. Typically, social services will work closely with you first to try and address their concerns.


In most circumstances, social services will initially start a process called “Pre-Proceedings”.

During Pre-Proceedings, you will have time to get to grips with social services’ concerns and take steps to address any issues. We can provide support from the moment social services start this process, including accompanying you to Pre-Proceedings Meetings to discuss the concerns.

At the end of Pre-Proceedings, social services will make a decision about whether to start formal care proceedings. It is therefore important to have us by your side during this stage to provide specialist support.

Child Protection Conferences

Social services may invite you to a Child Protection Conference if they are concerned about your child’s welfare and safety. Various people such as healthcare professionals, teachers and other social workers may also attend to give their views. After this meeting, social services may put in place a Child Protection Plan to set out what action needs to be taken and you may need to attend further meetings to discuss progress.

It is easy for parents to feel overwhelmed by these meetings, however, it is important to attend because your views are also taken into account.

We can also support you and your interests and make sure you understand what is going on.

Emergency Protection Orders

An Emergency Protection Order (EPO) is a court order that protects a child from imminent or ongoing harm. Once an EPO is made, it likely the child will be removed from their home.

If social services intends to apply for an EPO in respect of your child, you will be given one day’s notice (except in very serious circumstances). EPOs last eight days and can be extended up to 15 days, during which time social services will usually decide whether to apply for a Care Order or Supervision Order.

If an EPO has been made in respect of your child or you have received notice that social services intends to apply for an EPO, get in touch with us straight away for advice on your rights and what to do.

Why choose our child care solicitors?

We are a firm of highly qualified lawyers based in Harlow and Epping in Essex and Bishop’s Stortford in Hertfordshire. Here are just some of the reasons our clients choose us to help with their child care proceedings matters:

  • Extensive practical experience – you need a lawyer you can trust to vigorously represent your rights and those of your children. We have stood by clients at all stages of the child care process, from providing advice during Pre-Proceedings to robustly defending Care Order proceedings.
  • Professional support every step of the way – we understand how vulnerable and angry care proceedings can make parents feel and how difficult it can be to work with social services to reach a positive solution. We aim to help clients address social services concerns in a constructive way. We will always ensure you understand the legal process and what rights you have during the proceedings.
  • Swift, responsive service – we respond to all correspondence promptly and you will have a direct line of contact with your personal family lawyer so you can be sure your matter is progressing as speedily as possible.
  • Accredited expertise – we are members of the Law Society Family Law and Children Law Accreditation schemes for the high quality of our advice and customer service. Amongst our talented team, Reza Sabzevari and Shalini Subherwal are accredited family law specialists and Reza is an accredited children’s representative. Reza and Shalini are also members of Resolution.
  • Warm, inclusive environment – we work to make our services as accessible as possible for all clients, regardless of personal circumstances. We also aim to create a safe, open, and non-judgmental environment in case you would like to discuss any issues of domestic abuse within your family. So, if you have any disabilities or individual needs, please do not hesitate to get in touch for a confidential conversation with a member of our team.

Get in touch with our child care proceedings solicitors in Harlow, Epping and Bishop’s Stortford

For further information or to set up an initial appointment with one of our child care solicitors, please get in touch with: