3 May, 16

Social Services

What we can do for you

The involvement of social services can be a stressful and frightening time for many parents.

GT Stewart Solicitors have a dedicated and highly experienced team who are able to help families through this process and make representations on their behalf.

GT Stewart Solicitors can offer expert legal advice and assistance in the following areas of child care law:

  • Child Protection conferences
  • Section 20 Agreements and the accommodation of children in foster care
  • Pre-proceedings letters and meetings
  • Non-accidental injury allegations
  • Care proceedings
  • Contact with children in care
  • Care Orders
  • Supervision Orders
  • Adoption Orders
  • Special Guardianship Orders

Our solicitors are knowledgeable, resourceful, and dedicated to our clients. We have been ranked by the Legal 500 for our Family work and our team also includes Advanced Members of the Law Society’s Family Panel, and members of the Law Society Children Panel.

GT Stewart Solicitors are committed to fiercely defending our clients and we have had many successful results for families dealing with social services involvement.

If you are having any difficulties with social services please contact GT Stewart Solicitors on 0208 299 6000 as soon as possible and we may be able to help you.

Successful cases

Medway Council v M & T (By Her Children’s Guardian) [2015] EWFC B164 (13 October 2015)

We made a Human Right Acts claim on behalf of a mother alongside her child’s application for a declaration and damages against Medway council for breach of their rights under Articles 6 and 8 of the of the European Convention on Human Rights following the unlawful accommodation of the child for over 2 years. The mother and child were each awarded £20,000.

Re N (Minor) (Care proceedings: fact-finding hearing) [2014] EWFC 54

We acted for the mother in care proceedings who had been accused of causing serious injury to her child relating to shaken baby syndrome. The matter was transferred to the firm from other solicitors because it was felt that we had the team that could best carry the matter forward and deliver a result for the client.

We were able to re-examine the medical evidence and the client’s position to show that her account was consistent and credible. Our representation resulted in the child returning home to the parents and prevented proceedings being brought in relation to the client’s unborn child.

Cumbria County Council v Q (Injuries to Infant with Bone Disorder) [2015] EWFC 59 (08 July 2015)

We assisted a mother who had been accused of causing non-accidental injury to her child. We were able to show that the child had been suffering from a bone disorder, and that the cause of the injuries could have been accidental. No findings could be made by the court in respect of these injuries.

Re M (Children) [2015] EWCA Civ 994

We made an application on behalf of a father to discharge a care order that placed his three children in long term foster care. The application was dismissed. We successful appealed to the Court of Appeal on the ground that the Judge failed to consider the children’s’ wishes and feelings by consulting the welfare checklist. The appeal was successful and the application is now being reheard.

Case A

We represented a young mother in contested care proceedings in relation to her child. The child was moved to foster care after the mother and baby placement broke down. With our support, the mother engaged with all services offered and sought external support. The mother gave birth to her third child during these proceedings. We were able to successfully argue that the mother and the newborn remain together. At the final hearing, the Local Authority conceded our case and all children were returned to the mother’s care.

Case B

We represented a mother in contested care proceedings. Her four children had been removed from her care following allegations of heavy physical chastisement. The local authority and the Children’s Guardian recommended at the final hearing that our client’s children remain in long term foster care. However, we were able to show that the mother had not caused the injuries to the children and had remained committed to accessing support services. We were able to show that the evidence put forward by the local authority was fundamentally flawed and that the children were in fact best placed in our client’s care. The court agreed with our arguments at the final hearing and ordered that the children be returned to our client’s care.

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