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PLO Meetings: continuing to support parents post-lockdown

25/08/2020

Author: Jo Mayes

Child Law, Family, Legal Updates

PLO or Pre-Proceedings Meeting (Letter Before Action Meeting) supported by Hatch Brenner Solicitors

PLO or Pre-Proceedings Meeting (Letter Before Action Meeting) supported by Hatch Brenner Solicitors

A PLO or Pre-Proceedings Meeting (also known as Letter Before Action Meeting) is arranged by Children’s Services with parents or guardians of children with whom they have serious concerns.

Being legal meetings parents, and anyone else who has parental responsibility for the child, are entitled to legal representation which is covered via the Legal Aid funding system.

In light of the social distancing and covid-prevention measures in place following the easing of lockdown in England, the implementation of the PLO Meetings has had to change.

Jo Mayes, Legal Executive at Hatch Brenner Solicitors in Norwich commented: “Things have had to change recently due to the pandemic and we are now generally attending PLO Meetings with our clients by video call or by telephone. Until lockdown, meetings were normally held at Children’s Services Offices.

“We would usually have a pre-meeting with our client shortly before going into the PLO Meeting to discuss the PLO Letter and advise on the local authority’s plan going forward.

“In the present circumstances, we are having to ‘meet’ with our client by telephone and then have the video/telephone meeting with our client, Children’s Services and their legal representative as well as any other parent(s) or special guardian(s) and their legal representative(s).

“The meetings are more difficult to manage as everyone must remember that unless they take turns in speaking, the meeting can quite quickly descend into chaos! However, in most cases they are working quite well.”

Following the PLO Meeting, there are usually one or more review meetings to see whether the concerns of Children’s Services have been addressed. We will attend those meetings with you – most likely using video or telephone technology.

If Children’s Services are satisfied by improvements for the child or children involved, they will stop the legal process. If not, Care Proceedings will be issued.

Read more in the dedicated Child Law Solicitors section of this website by clicking the highlighted link. This includes a specific page on PLO Meetings.

Please call Hatch Brenner Solicitors Child Law team via 01603 660 811 or email jomayes@hatchbrenner.co.uk if you have any questions at all and we would be pleased to help you.

If you would like further information about any service, call us on 01603 214220