Legal Aid – why we do and others don’t

Bretherton Law are one of the few remaining local firms offering Legal Aid services for some areas of Family and Child Law. In April 2013 the government scrapped legal aid funding for a range of legal disputes, in an effort to cut £350m a year from the annual £2m legal aid bill in England and Wales. At the same time, payment rates for many remaining areas of legal aid work were drastically reduced. As a result, many solicitors’ practices suffered a drop in business in addition to reduced income for any legal aid work they carried out. The majority of law firms have now withdrawn from legal aid work altogether as it is no longer financially viable.

The long-term result of these cuts has been to remove access to justice for millions of people with low incomes. Bretherton Law have been helping and supporting vulnerable individuals and families in Hertfordshire for over 50 years, and we will continue to do so by offering legal aid work in Family and Children Law wherever possible. There are children in need of protection in a new home and adoptive parents eager to love a child, parents who desperately want raise their children but just need a little extra support, and grandparents who want to give their grandchildren a safe and loving home when their own children have been unable to do so. All of these people, and many others besides, are supported through our commitment to Legal Aid work.

The BBC has recently produced a series of informative articles which illustrate the type of cases we often get involved with. These articles are informative and often heart-wrenching, and provide a rare insight into the world of child protection.

The Adoption

The Adoption, which is also produced as a Podcast, tells the true story of how the two youngest children from a troubled family were subject to an adoption order from the court. The story illustrates the perspective of all those involved in the case; the parents and grandparents, social workers and foster parents, the adoptive parents, and most importantly the children.

Source BBC: The Adoption

Foster Parents to Adoptive Parents

This is the true story of a young boy who was neglected by his birth parents, leaving him with serious welfare problems. He was removed from his parents and placed into temporary foster care until a permanent home could be found. After one failed adoption attempt, his foster parents subsequently offered him a permanent home.

Source BBC: Foster Parents to Adoptive Parents

Will Emily be allowed to keep her baby?

After nine of her children were taken into care would Hertfordshire County Council’s social work team allow Emily to keep her tenth child – her new baby boy? This story illustrates how, with help and support, people can change, especially when they move on from an abusive relationship.

Source BBC: Will Emily be allowed to keep her baby.                                                                      

The Children and Family Law departments at Bretherton Law have been helping families in Hertfordshire for over 50 years, offering professional, experienced and sympathetic advice to those in need. We are proud to be accredited by the Law Society in Family and Children Law, and are members of Resolution, the organisation representing family lawyers and other professionals in the field. Contact us on 01727 869293, or use the form below. 

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