Bristol Legal: Child protection

We're a well established and experienced team carrying out care, adoption and allied public law proceedings for the council.

We're able to offer experience in all areas of child protection law.

We've a good working relationship with our client social workers at all levels, and satisfaction with our service is consistently high.

We've also established a good reputation with the Local Judiciary, Bar and Solicitors Practices.

We can offer the following services:

Children and young people

Care proceedings, legal framework Children Act 1989, Children and Young Persons Act 2008, plus Regs, Guidance and case law.

  • Attendance at legal planning meetings
  • Advice on threshold criteria and other legal issues
  • Advice throughout the pre-proceedings process
  • Advice and representation (or arranging for representation) at court hearings throughout care proceedings once proceedings are issued.
  • Assistance with social work documents: obtaining statements from witnesses, correspondence with legal representatives of parents and children and other parties to the care proceedings
  • Strategic safeguarding advice including LADO responsibilities and serious case reviews

Adoption

Placement and adoption proceedings, legal framework, Adoption and Children Act 2002, plus Regs, Guidance and case law.

  • Conduct of placement proceedings and advice and representation on contested adoption proceedings
  • Legal advice to the adoption panel at panel meetings and to the agency decision maker
  • Extra general advice to the advisor to the panel and panel members of placement and adoption issues

Emergency advice

We provide a rota to give urgent legal advice during office hours in emergency circumstances, mainly under Part 5 Children Act 1989 but also under Forced Marriage Protection Act, Inherent Jurisdiction of the High Court and female genital mutilation and radicalisation cases.

Policies and procedures

We provide advice on legal aspects of policies and procedures.

Complex and private law proceedings

We provide advice and help to social workers preparing reports in complex private law proceedings when the council isn't a party to the proceedings.

Training

We offer regular training sessions on court skills and briefing on changes in legislation and practice, and regular monthly legal updates on all relevant case law, legislation and regulations.

The team is supported by a case management system and e-bundling function and is developing cloud storage capacity for efficient delivery of court bundles.

Contact us

Heidi Gould: heidi.gould@bristol.gov.uk 

Oliver Moore: oliver.moore@bristol.gov.uk