We are experts in dealing with local authority child protection issues and court cases arising out of them. We can help you and your family if you are worried.

The court may only make a care order or a supervision order where satisfied the child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm if the Order is not made and that the harm or likelihood of harm is attributable to the care the child has received or is likely to receive if the order is not made being less than reasonable for a parent to give or the child is beyond parental control. The Local Authority has a duty to safeguard children from harm.

A referral may lead to an initial assessment and no further action or a full assessment and if concerns persist a Child in Need Plan or a Child Protection Plan and a meeting to explain to parent how to avoid public law proceedings.

A local authority can apply in an emergency for an emergency protection order or in exceptionally pressing circumstances can ask the police to exercise police protection powers to obtain a care order or a supervision order.

In some cases legal aid funding remains available to parents free of charge.

We are experts in all local authority public law proceedings. Paul Dodds and Julie Hodge are members of the Law Society Children’s Panel.  Paul and Julie are also Resolution Accredited Specialists in the law relating to children.

A report commissioned by North Tyneside said “Paul Dodds has an appetite for challenge and a desire to embarrass North Tyneside Council at any opportunity”. Paul decided to take that comment as a compliment!

Please contact us straight away if the local authority has issued public law proceedings.  The earlier we are contacted and retained to assist you the better prospects of a good outcome for you.

Wherever possible children should be brought up by their own parents.  The involvement of the local authority Children’s Services department does not mean that the outcome in inevitable.

Children’s Services shall try to work with you to ensure children are safe and receive good enough care.  We always recommend parents to consider the best interests of their children and to work hand in glove with children’s services. But, if resolution cannot be achieved this way and the Local Authority have a Care Plan for the permanent removal of children from their parent we possess the set of skills to provide specialist advice, assistance and representation in these very difficult cases.

Legal aid is available to you if you receive Income Support or income-based Job Seekers allowance.

A glossary of some of the terms that you might hear if you go to court can be found by clicking here