Not only will you be agreeing to Put your Child into voluntary Care, but you will not be entitled to Public Funded Legal Aid at this time.
The Social Worker more than often will say, if you do not agree to sign a section 20 Order, will will go for an Emergency Protection Order.
If they mention an Emergency Protection Order, you will need to act very quickly, and get a Children's Panel Solicitor straight away.
Solicitors that represent PAIN Service Users have been very successful in the past in preventing the granting of an Emergency Protection Order.
Social Workers will not tell you that you can try and discharge the EPO, within 72 hours.
The Local Authority can sit on this order for quite a few weeks,AND AS I HAVE ALREADY STATED YOU WILL NOT BE ENTITLED TO PUBLIC FUNDED LEGAL AID AT THIS TIME.
If you receive a Pre Proceedings letter through the post, you must take this letter straight to a specialized Children's Panel Solicitor.
The letter will state that they are considering going for Care Proceedings, and there will be a Pre Proceedings Meeting.
At any Pre Proceedings Meeting they do not always instigate Care Proceedings.
There is sometimes an Agreement contract drawn up, for you as Parents to follow the stipulations written to in the Contract.
If you breach the Agreement, then there is a high expectation that the LA will in most cases instigate Care Proceedings.
When the LA instigate Care Proceedings, and if they go for an Emergency Protection Order, this is when Non Means Tested Public Funded Legal Aid is granted.
With the Governments CHANGE OF DIRECTION FOSTER TILL YOU ADOPT COMING INTO FORCE THREE YEARS AGO, which means Foster Carers are brought in at the early stages of Care Proceedings , or Babies are allocated to Foster Carers before they are even born, this means in a lot of Cases, a Baby will be taken from His or Her Birth Parents within minutes or a few hours after birth, via an Emergency Protection Order.
TO PUT THIS IN THE PROPER TERMS,THE PROSPECTIVE ADOPTERS WILL SEE THE BABY MORE OR LESS WITHIN A FEW HOURS OF BIRTH.
This will also be breaching the Kincare Clause by placing a Child with an immediate Family Member such as Grandparents, Aunties, Uncles, before foster care is explored.
Local Authority's have a mandatory obligation to consider using the Kincare Clause, before a Child is placed into Care, and placed with Foster Carers.
DO NOT AGREE TO SIGN A SECTION 20 ORDER, YOUR LEGAL AID WILL NOT BE GRANTED AT THIS TIME.