26 weeks: too fast?

The Judge behind the award-winning Family Drug and Alcohol Court in  London has voiced concern over the new 26 week timetable imposed within all new care proceedings.

He points out that he has personal experience of cases where children have been returned home to their parents, rather than being adopted, but that this has taken longer than 26 weeks to achieve.

District Judge Nicholas Crichton said that the time limit is, “at risk of becoming a tyranny,” and whilst he understood the need for proceedings to be concluded more quickly he feels that, “the pendulum has swung too far.”

At Higgins Miller we have also had experience of cases whereby children have returned home but often these cases have taken over 26 weeks to conclude. It remains to be seen what effect the new rules will have on the amount of cases that end with a return home. Whilst it is true that the process had become too slow it is important that things are not sped up so much that children are denied the chance to be brought up within their own families.

The new system underlines the need for parents to get early legal advice, before court proceedings are even started. If social services are involved with you and your family at any level please contact us to arrange an appointment with one of our Stockport based family solicitors.

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November 5, 2013

Social Services

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