As a parent in England and Wales, it is essential to be aware of your rights when interacting with child social services. Navigating the complexities of such situations can be overwhelming, but understanding your rights empowers you to advocate for yourself and your child effectively. Here are the key rights you have when dealing with child social services:
- Right to be informed: You have the right to be informed about any concerns or allegations made against you or your child. Child social services must clearly communicate their reasons for intervention and provide you with relevant information regarding the investigation process.
- Right to be heard: Your voice matters. You have the right to express your views and opinions regarding your child’s welfare and the issues under investigation. Child social services should consider your input and involve you in any decision-making processes that affect your child.
- Right to regal representation: You have the right to seek legal representation and as a parent, you are entitled to non means, non-merit tested Legal Aid. It is crucial to consult with a child law solicitor who specialises in child welfare matters. Legal professionals can provide advice, guide you through the process, and ensure that your rights are protected.
- Right to privacy and confidentiality: Your privacy should be respected throughout the investigation. Child social services should handle your personal information with care and only disclose it when necessary and appropriate. However, they also have a duty to safeguard the welfare of your child, which may involve sharing relevant information with other professionals involved in the case.
- Right to access records: You have the right to access relevant records and reports related to your child and the investigation. Child social services should provide you with copies of such records upon request, allowing you to stay informed and participate fully in the process.
- Right to appeal: If you disagree with any decisions made by child social services, you have the right to challenge them through their appeals process.
Remember, child social services play a vital role in safeguarding the welfare of children. However, as a parent, you have rights that ensure your involvement and protect your family’s well-being throughout the process. Seeking legal representation can be instrumental in navigating these situations, as it ensures that your rights are upheld, your perspective is considered, and your child’s best interests are prioritised.
If you and your family are being investigated by children’s social services and you need Legal Advice then please do get in touch either by calling the number above (9am – 5pm Monday – Friday) or by requesting a callback using the form at the bottom of this page. The first call is always free of charge and we can advise you if you are likely to be eligible for Legal Aid. It’s important to take advice early so you can understand the process and try and achieve the best outcome.