Arrangements for children, child protection and the issues that arise as a result.
Posted on: July 19th, 2022
Public Law Outline – Frequently asked questions
What is a child protection strategy meeting?
This is a professionals meeting that takes place and is attended by all professionals involved with you and your child(ren), such as teachers, health visitors and police. This meeting is to allow professionals to meet and discuss what support can be put in place and what should happen next to best assist the family. It is a very common outcome at this meeting for a Section 47 enquiry to be undertaken and this is when the Local Authority have reasonable cause to suspect that a child(ren) who lives or is found in the area is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm.
What is Child Protection?
This is part of the safeguarding process to protect a child(ren) from any harm they are or are likely to suffer. Being a part of child protection process means everyone who works with the children has a responsibility for keeping them safe and a plan is agreed between parents and the Local Authority, a child can remain subject to Child Protections for a period of 2 years. Child Protection can end either being stepped down when the risk of harm is no longer present, or the risk becomes such that further intervention is required and can be stepped up to Public Law Outline also known as pre-proceedings.
What is Public Law Outline?
This is a process that takes place when the Local Authority is concerned about a child’s welfare and unless steps are taken in respect of the concerns, they may consider an application to the court. If the Local Authority wish to initiate the PLO process, then a Letter Before Proceedings will be provided to parents setting out all the concerns. This letter will also schedule a time and date for the meeting.
What happens at a PLO Meeting?
At any PLO meeting you are required to attend it is advised you have your legal representative/solicitor attend with you. The purpose of the meeting is to agree a course of action that needs to happen to protect your child(ren) from harm or potential harm. Within this process a Contract of Expectations in normally agreed and this will set out what is expected during this process and assessment work can also be undertaken. If assessment work is required, then a PLO Plan will be provided.
What are the PLO process outcomes?
- The Local Authority ends it involvement at this level as all expectations have been met of adhered to
- The Local Authority request an additional period to undertake further assessment work.
- The Local Authority concerns remain, and an application is made to the court to issue care proceedings.
If you would like advice about arrangements for children, child protection and the issues that arise as a result, we have an experienced and specialist team who would be pleased to advise and assist.
Our teams are based in Redcar and Darlington and can be contacted via 01642 777680 or 01325 790922.
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