Higgins Miller is a firm which specialises in family law. This means that we deal with issues such as divorce, wills and probate and domestic abuse. The client who come to work with us are often coping with highly stressful situations which, in many cases, represent the first time they have had serious dealings with the daunting world of lawyers and courts. We understand this and approach all of the help provided with a combination of legal expertise and empathetic support, and this is particularly the case when people come to us looking for a social work lawyer.
Our expertise in the field of social services and the kind of cases this area revolves around is grounded in the fact that members of our team have been accredited by the Law Society as members of the Children Panel. This means that we are perfectly placed to offer help and advice based on an expert and completely up to date understanding of the finer details of children’s law. Any social work lawyer working for us will know exactly how to handle the cases which people bring to us, and will deliver this advice in an accessible and effective manner.
Our social work lawyer will approach their work with a full understanding of the levels of stress which any kind of contact with social services can place on a family. This stress will involve the child involved in the case, the parents and any siblings, and is often based on a sense of panic and a misunderstanding of the legal powers which social services have and the approach which they take to the families they deal with. If a client has received a letter from social services expressing concern about the welfare of a child and asking for a meeting, our social work lawyer will be able to explain exactly what the letter means, why social services have got in touch and what course of action they are likely to take in the future.
In all cases our social work lawyer will place the safety and well-being of the child concerned at the centre of everything they do. Wherever possible we will work with the client to reach an amicable agreement which avoids any court appearances and delivers the best solution for the child and their family. In some cases this may mean working on the basis of a previous agreement with social services, and ensuring that all of the stipulations in that agreement have been adhered to. Throughout this process, we will communicate in a clear and transparent manner, avoiding complex legal terminology and dealing in a supportive manner with the stress and anxiety which contact with social services inevitably prompts. If necessary we will liaise between the social services department in question and the client, in order to ascertain exactly what the issues causing concern are, and how the client can work to alleviate them.
One thing which our social work lawyer will be keen to explain is that the social service department will be working with the welfare of the child in question at heart. Rather than being treated as an enemy they should be regarded as a partner working hard to make the family unit as a whole stronger rather than weaker. Our social work lawyer will understand this and will work closely with both the client and the local authority in order to reach an amicable solution as quickly as possible. In many cases, a client tends to panic upon being contacted by social services in the assumption that their child is about to be taken away from them. Our social work lawyer will explain that this is highly unlikely to be the case, as a court has to issue an order for a child to be removed because it is feared the child is at risk from harm. This is an extreme measure which social services departments tend to be very reluctant to reach for. If a case does involve an Emergency Protection Order we work closely with the client to explain what rights they have and to help them to clearly present their own version of events.
We work in the confidence that a client seeking the assistance of a social work lawyer will have the best interests of the child at heart. Not only will we respond in an empathetic manner, delivering expert advice on issues such as child protection orders and care proceedings in a highly sensitive manner, but we are available to offer an extremely quick response, dealing with an emergency situation by providing a channel of communication between the client and the social services department. In this way, the work of finding an appropriate solution and avoiding any escalation begins at the earliest possible stage.
If you’d like to find out more about what a social work lawyer could do for you or have questions about child welfare and family law, please call us on 0161 429 7251 or email us at [email protected]. We’ve recently passed our Cyber Essential accreditation, something which demonstrates our forward-thinking attitude and determination to remain ahead of the competition. The first 20-minute appraisal is provided free of charge, and we’ll give you the first appointment for a fixed fee, so you don’t have to worry about how much our advice is going to cost. This initial meeting can ensure that you understand why social services have made contact and can feel able to move forward with confidence. If you want to explore our wider charging system then please take a look here.