Accessing Legal Help for Families Split Up in Care Proceedings
Child care solicitor Stacy Fox has recently welcome recommendations by the Family Rights Group to enable more siblings to live together in care.
A recent report found that half of all sibling groups in local authority care are split up, but says it is particularly conducive to support them to live together.
Head of Childcare at Pearsons Solicitors, Stacy Fox, said often placing a child with another family member could provide the support needed, but many families were not aware of how to go about this.
“In many circumstances family members do not know that they can be assessed to care for a child or they are worried about doing so,” said Stacy.
“Legal advice is paramount so that potential family carers can receive advice on how to approach the local authority to be assessed, apply to the court if necessary and the range of court orders that could be granted to secure a home for the child.”
Stacy added that funding could help keep families together in these circumstances.
“When a child is to be placed with a family member the local authority, in certain cases, are statutory bound to consider if a package of support is required, to include help around contact with parents, siblings, other family members and also financial support. In certain circumstances the local authority will provide funding to obtain this legal advice,” she added.
Amongst other things the Family Rights Group recommends:
- Unless the child’s welfare is compromised siblings should be placed together.
- If they are not together their relationship should be supported.
- There should be a legal duty on the local authority to explore family and friends placements.
- The Government should introduce paid leave, as per adoption leave to kinship carers.
- Independent legal advice should be funded by the Government for family members and friends who are considering, or have taken on a child to help them make an informed decision.
For advice and help on any childcare issues please contact Stacy Fox on 0161 785 3500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.
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