Children Law | Care and Social Services Advice | Howells Solicitors
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Children Law

Children Law Solicitors based in Sheffield, Barnsley & Rotherham 

Our Children Law specialists deal with some of the most challenging cases involving social services. We provide advice and representation to all members of the family on a full range of issues relating to social service involvement.


Disputes concerning children can present parents and family members with challenging decisions, and it can be confusing and worrying when contacting dealing with social services. However, our experienced team can help anyone who finds themselves in a conflict about children with social services.

Free First Meeting for New Clients

Our Children Law solicitors can help with talking to social services, attending planning meetings, and representing you at Court.


Contact us or call us on 0114 2496666 to book your [free] appointment today.


Legal aid is available in a wide variety of circumstances for friends and family members when social care are involved with children and we will be happy to assess you and advise you as to your eligibility of legal aid.


Social Service Involvement

We can advise and support you from when a social worker first gets in touch with you, and, wherever possible, we will attend meetings with you and represent you in court.  We will also help you apply for legal aid if you are eligible.

Contact us or call us on 0114 2496666 to book your [free] appointment today or to discuss if legal aid is an option for you.


We have experience representing parents and other family members in all sorts of situations which lead to care proceedings. These include cases where the local authority is concerned children are being neglected and where family members are accused of injuring or abusing children.


Our Children’s Law specialists can support you with:

How Can Howells Solicitors Help


Our Children Law specialists can support you and your family with any matter relating to Children Law and social service involvement, such as:



  • Offering [free] advice at the first instance social services contact you


  • Explaining your rights where children may have suffered sexual abuse, physical or emotional harm


  • Offer advice and speak to social services when they raise concerns about a child’s safety


  • Explain your rights and give advice when a child is at risk of being taken into care


  • Give advice and support where family members wish to care for a child who is at risk of being taken or has been taken into care


  • Give advice when a Local Authority seeks an Emergency Protection Order


  • Give advice with cases surrounding non-accidental injuries


  • Give advice and represent you with other aspects of social care involvement with children, including;


Pre-proceedings (PLO) meetings
Case conferences
Child assessment orders


  • Give advice when parents of guardians wish to make contact with children in care


  • Support parents who seek the return of a child in care and the discharging of care orders


  • Support where children have special needs


  • Advising parents in cases where the court is being asked to make a Special Guardianship order for their child


  • Advising parents where they seek the court’s permission to oppose the making of an adoption order


Contact us or call us on 0114 2496666 to book your [free] appointment today.


Our Children Law specialists are supportive, patient and non-judgemental advisors. They will carefully explain all the procedures involved in child care cases to help alleviate any fear, worry or uncertainty about the legal process.


As highly experienced specialists, they will use their skills and knowledge to support you and ensure the best possible outcome for the child. They will examine all funding options such as Legal Aid to make quality advice as accessible and affordable as possible.


They are also here to offer appropriate help and support in the aftermath of an investigation.


Who Can Howells Represent?


Parents and carers:

If you have parental responsibility for a child, then it is necessary to obtain professional legal advice the instant social services are in contact with you. Our Children Law solicitors have years of experience representing parents and family members in  complex cases where social services are involved, and we have a wide and thorough knowledge of Children Law.


Grandparents and other family members: 

If you are concerned about how your grandchild or a child related to you will be cared for and looked after, our Children Law team can help you. We can help if:

– You wish to be assessed to care for that child


– You are caring for a child and are not the biological parent


-You have previously cared for that child


– The local authority has completed a viability assessment of you/your family


– You wish to have contact with the child

Although a non-parent is not automatically entitled to Legal Aid, you may still be eligible.

Contact us or call us on 0114 2496666 to book your free appointment today or to discuss if legal aid is an option for you.



We can provide specialist representation of children of all ages in cases of this nature and are often instructed by Children’s Guardians to represent the interests of children involved in care proceedings. Our Children Law specialists are skilled in communicating effectively with children and work closely with Children’s Guardians to ensure that proceedings are explained in an age-appropriate way to young clients.


Children and Social Services


Social services can become involved with a family for many reasons, including:


– Concerns regarding drug or alcohol issues


– Concerns regarding learning difficulties or mental health problems


– Concerns relating to injuries


– Concerns regarding sexual abuse


We will always listen to what our clients say and give advice about how they can provide the best possible evidence to the court.


When social services become involved with your family it can be a very traumatic and confusing time. If you have been contacted by social services,have been invited to attend a meeting with social services or notified that you must attend court, it is vital that you contact us immediately to obtain legal advice and arrange representation.


Our experienced team will be able to talk you through the process, advise you of your rights, and arrange for one of our team to attend any meetings and to arrange for you to be represented at court. C

Contact us or call us on 0114 2496666 to book your free appointment today or to discuss your case and to book a [free] meeting.


Children’s Law FAQs


Why are the Local Authority Involved with my Children?

The local authority is likely to become involved with matters concerning children if they are concerned for a child’s welfare. This can be that the child is regularly missing school, is at risk of violence or the local authority have concerns in respect of your parenting, behaviour or even people you associate with if they pose a risk to the child.


Is Public Funding (Legal Aid) available for me?

Legal aid is the use of public funds to help to pay for legal advice. There are three considerations for legal aid entitlement:


  1. Scope – the type of case you are involved with must be on the list of cases that the government says may be funded by legal aid. Parents who are subject to a PLO process or care proceedings are eligible for legal aid.
  2. Means – An assessment of your financial circumstances may be required to check that you are eligible for legal aid but all parents are automatically eligible for legal aid in the PLO process and care proceedings no matter what their financial circumstances.
  3. Merits – the legal aid agency check that you have a case to argue, that you have a reasonable likelihood of success, and a reasonable person would use their own funds to pay for the case. This does not apply to the PLO process and care proceedings as all parents are eligible for legal aid for those cases.

Whether your children case is eligible for legal aid depends on the type of case. This can include:

  • Care proceedings representation
  • Contact with a child in care
  • Discharge/variation of a care/supervision order


Our Children Law solicitors can help with talking to social services, attending planning meetings, and representing you at Court. Speak to one of our Children Law specialists for [free] today.

Contact us or call us on 0114 2496666 to book your [free] appointment today.


What is the Children Act 1989 in the UK?

The Children Act 1989 provides the framework for child protection in England. The key principles include the paramount nature of the child’s welfare and the expectations and requirements around duties of care to children.


What are the Basic Rights of a Child in the UK?

The basic rights of a child in the UK include but are not limited to:

  • The right to life, survival, and development
  • The right to a name and nationality
  • The right to have their best interests considered and their views respected
  • The right to live in a family environment
  • The right to education, leisure, culture, and the arts
  • The right to health and healthcare


At What Age Can a Child Refuse to See a Parent in the UK?

There is no definitive answer as to the age children are able to refuse contact with a parent. Under the Children Act, the wishes and feelings of the child need to be considered in child arrangements disputes, while also considering the child’s age and best interests.


My Grandchildren are in the Care of the Local Authority. Is There Anything I Can Do?

Assistance of a grandparents may deter the Local Authority from issuing Care Proceedings. You can assist by offering to care for children in the short, medium and long term and can be approved as kinship foster carers. Grandparents are also able to assist by offering to facilitate and supervise contact between children and their parents.

Contact us or call us on 0114 2496666 to book your [free] appointment today.

The Family Law Team

The Howells Care team is one of the best in the country and have over 40 years’ experience supporting families. They are ranked high on Review Solicitors where they have a rating of 4.9 out of 5 for their client care. The team are also accredited by Resolution and the Law Society.

The family law team at Howells are often praised by clients for their honesty, compassion, and down to earth approach with their clients, and are excellent at their client care making the process of your case far less stressful.

Call us on 0114 249 66 66 or contact online

Request a Call back

The Howells Solicitors law team are compassionate, down-to-earth and professional, offering you the best expert advice. Get in touch with solicitors in Sheffield, Rotherham, and Barnsley to see how we can help. Fill in the form or give us a call at:

What Do Our
Clients Say?

Thankyou for all your support during this case, it is a successful outcome for us all, most importantly the children. It was a battle in the end, but we got there, with your amazing advice and hard work. We truly are grateful.” “Charlotte, Pamela, Joanna, truly fab team, that have supported us through our journey, in getting the contact final and agreed.

Mr M and Ms R, Family Clients, Nov 2014

Thanks for all your ‘spot on’ children’s advice and also the advice which you have given to me over the last 8 months. The letters, statements, position statement were all brilliant. I took your advice which paid off as it taught me there are ways of communication positively without reacting! I came to you anxious, angry and upset and you helped me to minimise this as the case moved forward.

Child Law Client