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However in many instances social services will have been involved with families often for many months. A number of meetings and conferences may have taken place and parents will have been expected to deal with professionals including social workers, teachers and health visitors at a time of great stress and concern about whether their children can remain in their care.
When cases come to Court the law now makes it clear that a decision needs to be made about whether children can remain with their parents or should be placed elsewhere or indeed adopted within six months of the application being made and time is very short.
It is very important therefore that parents get advice from a specialist lawyer who can advise them and guide them through this difficult and upsetting time.
Although it is hopefully widely known that public funding (legal aid) is available for parents in care proceedings regardless of personal financial circumstances it is perhaps less understood that solicitors can also assist and represent such clients at what are known as pre-proceedings meetings and also provide advice very early on in their dealings with the authorities .
Although there is a very tight timescale at Court early cooperation with a Solicitor specialising in children cases as soon as social services are involved could make the difference in some cases between a family being kept together or the prospect of adoption.