What is a Pre-Proceedings meeting?
When Social Services are involved with your family you may receive a letter from inviting you to attend a pre-proceedings meeting. The letter may not state what the meeting is for but simply state that you should bring a solicitor with you to the meeting.
A pre-proceedings meeting is a meeting with a social worker to discuss their concerns about your children. They will hold this meeting if they feel that your child is at risk of significant harm. The social worker will have a solicitor at the meeting. It is important that you have legal representation at the meeting also.
This meeting means that Social Services are so concerned about your children that they think that if things do not improve they will consider asking the Court for an Order for the children.
At the pre-proceedings meeting the social worker will discuss their concerns about your children and what steps they think you could take to be able to care safely for the children. You may be asked to sign a written agreement about what steps you will take, this is not a legal document but if you breach this agreement it will cause concern to Social Services. It is important to have legal advice before signing a written agreement.
A review date will then be set so that at the next meeting it can be decided whether the risks of harm have reduced enough to end this process or further work needs to be done. If things have worsened and Social Services are very concerned about the children, they could ask the Court to grant them an Order.
If you are invited to a pre-proceedings meeting it is very important that you have legal representation. A member of Emery Johnson Astills’ care team will be able to attend this meeting with you and advise you appropriately following the meeting.
The care department at Emery Johnson Astills have a wealth of experience of attending pre-proceedings meetings. If you have been invited to attend a pre-proceedings meeting you will be eligible for legal aid and will not need to pay for legal representation. A member of the care team will be able to go through the pre-proceedings letter with you and explain what this means, advise you and also attend the meeting with you.
If you have been invited to attend a pre-proceedings meeting or have received a letter from Social Services advising you that there will be a meeting about your children that you should bring a solicitor to, you can contact Emery Johnson Astills’ care team on 0116 255 4855.