Child Protection

Our team deals with all aspects of child protection work in relation to hundreds of different children every year. We’re now pioneering new services for clients too.
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As a professional working in child protection, you'll be familiar with the need to act fast to safeguard vulnerable children from harm. As child protection specialists, we understand what you need and expect from your lawyers. 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.
Meet the team

Areas of expertise

  • Adoption
  • Wardship
  • Child Sexual Exploitation
  • Public interest immunity
  • Forced Marriage
  • Female Genital Mutilation
  • Radicalisation
  • Care Proceedings
  • Pre-Proceedings

Specialisms

  • Care proceedings and pre-proceedings: case managing all aspects of care proceedings and pre-proceedings from commencement to conclusion. We advise on all limbs of threshold that feature in pre-proceedings and care proceedings cases including matters where neglect, emotional, physical and sexual abuse or children who are beyond parental control are the prevalent feature
  • Advocacy in all Family Courts: we represent our clients at contested hearings, multi-day final hearings, fact finding hearings appeals and out of hours applications. A large portion of our advocacy is dealt with in-house, either by case-holding lawyers or our specialist in-house advocates. We also have strong links with chambers who are recognised as world leaders in child protection law
  • Adoption law: we advise agency decision-makers in relation to best interests decisions for children, conduct placement order and adoption order proceedings, assist with post-adoption work and adoption placement disruptions. We also delivering regular training to prospective adopters
  • Wardship: We advise and represent our clients within wardship proceedings lodged in the High Court
  • Discrete areas of law: we have a wealth of experience in dealing with more discrete areas of law such as child sexual exploitation prevention, forced marriage and female genital mutilation protection order application, fabricated induced illness and parental alienation
  • International childcare cases: including adoption matters
  • Care provisions: for older children and young adults as well as leaving care provisions for young persons who are leaving the care system
  • Deprivation of liberty: for young persons involved in proceedings within the National DOLS Court or under the inherent jurisdiction in care proceedings
  • Secure accommodation: we have detailed knowledge of assisting in our client in obtaining secure accommodation orders, which have proved vital in protecting young persons from harm
  • Radicalisation: we have pioneering experience in dealing with cases where radicalisation is an issue
  • Private law matters: we are happy to advise on the content of section 7 and Section 37 Children Act 1989 reports for the court as well as special guardianship order assessments

Our approach

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, improve your ability to draft documentation and give evidence in court. Our joint Heads of Group co-chair the local Family Justice Board, which fosters close working relationships with all stakeholders working within the family justice system both nationally and locally in Kent. We 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. We believe that the combination of our expert sector knowledge, public service ethos and heritage, our innate understanding of public-sector service provision and our competitive pricing allows us to seamlessly become an extension to your in-house team’.

Our Team

Donna Frost

Head of Child Protection (Team 1)

Donna is proud to work with a team of lawyers and support staff who together with our client departments work incredibly hard to achieve the best outcomes for children

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Helen Osborn

Head of Child Protection (Team 2)

Helen is passionate about child protection and under her leadership, the team ensure they provide sound and accurate legal advice in a professional and empathetic way.

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Kirstine Hidalgo Souto

Deputy Head of Child Protection

Kirstine uses her years of expertise in Child Protection law to distil complex cases, providing support to clients.

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Client testimonials

“I am really grateful for your pragmatic approach to this case and well done on achieving such an excellent result for us. ”
Monitoring Officer
“Kent County Council’s 18+ service is supported by the Invicta Law asylum team providing impeccable legal advice in assisting our service to support asylum seeking care leavers in Kent.”
Leaving Care Service - Kent County Council
“The Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking (UAS) Children’s Service is grateful for the support your team provides in defending its age assessments and responding to UAS child-related legal matters. I and the Service look forward to working with you in 2024-25.’ ”
UAS Children’s Service - Kent County Council
“South East Strategic Migration Partnership (SESPM) have worked successfully with Invicta Law over a number of years and their support, advice and training has been a key element to our work in this field. They have offered value for money training which has received extremely high levels of positive feedback from participating local authorities in the South East. Our experience is that the advice and training, especially related to Age Assessments and undertaking Human Rights Assessments, has been particularly helpful for local authorities here. ”
South East Strategic Migration Partnership
“The service so far has very good feedback for both of your case holders assisting. We thank you again for your supplemental service to Lambeth ASC at this very busy time for our in-house legal team.”
Community Care - London Borough of Lambeth
“The services we have had from Invicta Law have been excellent, both from the legal discussions but also the support we have received to increase my staff’s knowledge of the age assessment process. There have been times during some of our most challenging periods when I have communicated with members of your team at weekends and out of office hours, and the colleagues we have worked with have gone above and beyond in helping us in Torbay.”
Children's Services - Torbay Council
“I am writing in praise of your support. As someone in the firing line of an ultra-aggressive legal team for the first time in my life, this was a traumatic and, at times, upsetting process. You were at my side, dispensing wise and calming counsel throughout. You have been readily available when crises occurred, have been a wonderful listener and, in the end, we reached an outcome that was highly satisfactory for our school and its pupils. I cannot speak highly enough of the way that you handled this case, and I thank you and your firm for the support you gave me. Being a chair of governors, sworn to confidentiality, can be a lonely business! You kept me sane.”
Chair of School Governors
“You’ve been incredibly helpful with this. Thanks for always replying so promptly and for being a star.”
Private Sector Town Planning & Development Consultancy
“The experience has been really top end. Rather than just offering the options, they have given some real solid advice on the best route. It's a good business 'partnering' approach.”
Kent Fire and Rescue Service
“Their employment advice has always proved to be sound. I’ve worked with lots of different lawyers in London boroughs and I’d also say that Invicta Law is the most solution-focused.”
Kent Fire and Rescue Service

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    Our office

    Invicta Law Ltd
    1 Abbey Wood Road
    Kings Hill
    West Malling
    Kent ME19 4YT
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