Pandemic causes increase in Care Proceedings for Children
Whilst the news headlines portray a sharp increase in care proceeding cases reaching family courts in recent weeks, large numbers of vulnerable children are at risk and our Family Care Solicitors are busy working behind the scenes acting on behalf of some of them or their families.
Lockdown creates extra stress for Families
The words lockdown, self-isolation and quarantine in themselves cause anxiety. Families are now a under new pressure with lockdown – meaning no school, a change of routine, social distancing, isolation and parents working from home. This is a difficult enough time for any family but for those who were already struggling to cope with everyday life and had additional challenges of their own such as poor mental health, substance misuse difficulties, were in an abusive relationship or already had the stress and worry of Social Services involved with their family and threat of Court proceedings due to concerns, have been finding life even more difficult.
All this can cause stress for anyone so changes in behaviour are inevitable and families are faced with additional problems and challenges to cope with.
Care Solicitors using remote platforms
Since the start of lockdown our Care team have been working at capacity. They have been working closely with their clients, keeping in touch with them on the phone or via email, What’s App and text messaging as they are unable to visit the office in person.
Whilst courts have adapted and operating remotely by using Skype and other video or telephone conferencing methods, there are particular challenges where children are involved and ensuring that they are safeguarded and not being denied access to justice and nor are their families. Our team are working hard to ensure that this continues to be the case.
We have found that only a small number of cases have been rescheduled, but often due to the facts in the individual case. Clients have been able to remain involved in their hearings too by using the same technology.
“We have faced a unique challenge over the past three weeks with hearings being dealt with remotely, but the safety of our clients and their families is upmost in our minds and our solicitors and support staff are working as hard as usual for clients. We adapt fast and are rising to the challenge of maintaining our excellent client care and ensuring that cases are progressed as close to ‘normal’ as they can be by working remotely by email, video call and telephone even in these difficult times,” said Rebecca Wolfenden, Care Solicitor for Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers.
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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.
This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.