Hanne & Co can represent all members of the family, whatever the situation.
If social services become involved with your grandchildren, nieces, nephews or other children with whom you have a close association you will not have an automatic right to receive information about why social services are involved with such children because you do not hold legal parental responsibility for them.
You may be as concerned as the child’s parent about the child being in social services care and we understand that it can be especially difficult obtaining information or dealing with a social services department. However many children who are involved in court proceedings are placed in the care of members of the extended family who have a big role to play in the child’s future.
We can provide advice about your rights in relation to the child whether you are seeking to care for the child or you are seeking contact with the child. Social services procedures can be complicated and we are happy to advise you of the law and procedure in these cases.
We will firstly assess whether you are eligible for legal aid advice and help you make a legal aid application if you are financially eligible and if there is a case for you becoming involved in the proceedings. Sometimes social services may be willing to provide funding for you to receive advice from a solicitor.
Representation at court
It is likely that before you can make an application to court for an order relating to a child who is not your own child that you will need to apply for permission from the court. We can advise you on whether to make such an application. You may then be able to apply for orders for Residence and/or Contact, Special Guardianship or an Adoption.
A Special Guardianship Order is a court order confirming that a child will live with you, usually until the child reaches 18, and the court order grants you overriding parental responsibility for the child meaning that you are in control of all decisions about the child’s welfare. The social services department may have a duty to provide you with financial assistance to support your care of the child.
We can advise you on all aspects of applying for a Special Guardianship Order and social services’ duties towards you and the child and we can represent you in court. It is important that you fully understand the differences between a special guardianship order, a residence order and an adoption order so that you can make the decision about what is in the best interests of the child and your family. More information can be found on the Family Law page of our website.