As a professional working in child protection, you’ll be familiar with ‘impossible’ situations – those scenarios in which your hands are tied but the need for action remains pressing. As child protection lawyers we also know them well. Led by our joint Heads of Group Helen Osborn and Donna Frost, we’ll use our wealth of experience, legal expertise and deep understanding of the child protection landscape to give you options and help you evaluate the route to the best possible outcome.
- Family Court matters: from contested hearings to multi-day final hearings and appeals
- Private law matters: e.g. Section 7 and Section 37 Children Act 1989, reports and special guardianship
- Adoption law: advice to agency decision-makers, conduct placement order and adoption proceedings, post-adoption work and adoption disruptions
- Child sexual exploitation
- Public interest immunity
- Forced marriage
- Female genital mutilation
- International child care cases and Hague Convention adoption matters
- Care provisions for older children and young adults
- Deprivation of liberty for children involving proceedings in the Court of Protection or under the inherent jurisdiction in care proceedings
- Advocacy: we have strong links with chambers recognised as world leaders in child protection law. But most advocacy is dealt with in-house, either by case-holding lawyers or our specialist in-house advocates.
Greater competence in the legal aspects of your work enables you to spend more time with your clients. That’s why we believe in a partnership approach and have developed and delivered a major training programme for social workers and other child protection professionals, helping you to understand the court process, improving your ability to draft documentation and give evidence in court.
We also play a key role in implementing a Family Drug and Alcohol Court pilot in Kent and Medway, working with the National FDAC Unit, Tavistock and Portman, the judiciary, HMCTS, CAFCASS, Specialist Children’s Services and other key agencies.
Our senior lawyers contribute to the local Family Justice Board and Performance Improvement Sub-Committee, which in turn fosters close working relationships with CAFCASS and the local judiciary.
We also provide a telephone helpline for our clients; meaning there is always a friendly and expert lawyer to speak to should you need urgent or immediate legal advice.