What to Bear in Mind When Social Services Become Involved in Your Case

Here at Higgins Miller we never lose sight of the human perspective of the cases we deal with. When looking at a situation from a strictly legal point of view it can be easy to forget that the bare facts of each case represent a real human being going through what is often one of the most stressful and traumatic experiences of their lives. We never forget this, and make a point of helping our clients to deal with the emotional impact of any legal action at the same time as providing expert practical advice.

This is reflected in the areas in which we specialise. Whether we’re dealing with family law, children disputes, adoption and special guardianship or divorce and special partnerships, we aim to provide a service which is empathetic at the same time as being focussed on the legal issues involved, and this is particularly the case when there is social services involvement.

For many people, the mere thought of social services being involved in a case is enough to create high levels of stress and concern. There are many different reasons why social services might take an interest in a case, however, and the first thing which we will do for any of our clients is determine exactly why the department of social services in questions has opted to make contact.

One of the things which we are always keen to emphasise when offering social services advice is that that local authority social services will always have the welfare of the families they come into contact with at the heart of everything they do. This is particularly the case when dealing with the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults. People who contact us for social services legal advice are often concerned that the involvement of social services is automatically going to lead to their children being taken off them. In reality, however, a child will only ever be removed if there is a clear risk of harm and if there is a court order in place. Although the police can take children into ‘protective custody’, and then apply to the courts for an Emergency Protection Order, this is only likely to happen in the most extreme cases. The fact that a client has opted to access social services advice in the first place would tend to indicate that they have the best interests of their child at heart, and simply wish to ensure that every stage in the process – which might involve complex issues such as care proceedings or child protection orders – is handled exactly as it should be. If an emergency situation does arise, our ability to react quickly, coupled with our knowledge of the laws involved, will help to guarantee the best possible outcome.

That’s where the expertise offered by Higgins Miller comes to the fore, as does our ability to act as a conduit between our clients and social services, ensuring that your point of view is put across as clearly as possible, and that the actions or statements of the social services are presented in a manner which is easily understood.

If you’ve been contacted by social services, or have sought out their help on your own behalf but are unclear as to how the process will now move forward, then get in touch with us as soon as possible. Whether you want specific social services advice or have more general concerns, you can call us on 0161 429 7251 or email us at [email protected]. We’ll provide an initial 20 minute legal aid appraisal free of charge, in a face to face meeting or via a phone call, and if you do decide to use our services a Fixed Fee first appointment will cost just £50 (Plus VAT). Click here to see the wider details of our case funding.    


December 1, 2016

Social Services

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