“Almost one in 50 of those officially classified as “child in need” in England have not yet been born”. According to a recent BBC article more than 7,000 unborn children fall into this category and the total number of ‘children in need’, according to annual figures published by the Department of Education, comes to 400,000.
There are many reasons why families struggle to cope during pregnancy and once a child is born. Many of the parents we support are battling with issues including mental health problems, drug addiction, domestic violence and because they need support around parenting skills – particularly if they themselves were brought up in the care system.
If Children’s Services are concerned regarding the care a child is receiving, care proceedings can be issued once a child has been born.
They are, however, not the only option available. Unless the risks are deemed too high, Children’s Services will try to work in partnership with parents and assess what support services can go in to help them and their family. The decision to remove a child from their parents cannot be made lightly.
Legal advice and representation for parents
At Hatch Brenner Solicitors we have a Family Law department which specialises in care proceedings work. We can offer legal advice and representation to parents not only when Children’s Services issue proceedings in relation to their children, but prior to this should what is known as the pre-proceedings process be initiated.
We appreciate that this can be a confusing, stressful and worrying time and are here to help. We can also signpost parents towards other support services including specialist charities.