Parents are often forced to sign a Section 20 Order, out of duress by Social Workers.
Our advice to Parents is never ever agree to sign a Section 20. Order, as it means that they are placing a Child or Children into Voluntary Care.
Legal Aid at this point cannot be granted at this time, and the LA, are known to keep Children on this order for a few weeks or even months.
In one LA,a child was kept on a Section 20 for at least 11 years, something that is supposed to be a temporary arrangement, disgustingly has lasted for 11 years.
The Arrangement, could mean that Parents have the right to go to the Foster Carers and take Their Children Home.
But Social Workers in these Case, will go to Court and try and get an Emergency Protection Order.
Legal Aid will come available to Parents at the granting of an Emergency Protection Order or at the time of a Pre Proceedings meeting.
If Parents get a Pre Proceedings letter, they are urged to take this letter to a Children's Panel Solicitor,
Who will then apply to obtain Legal Aid, and Represent the Parents with regards to the proposed Public Law Care Proceedings.
My Freedom of Information Requests, clarify how long LA are keeping Children on these orders and it can be months even Years.