Asset 6 Child Protection

Public Law Outline (PLO) Meetings

What is a Pre-proceedings or PLO Meeting?

If a Local Authority has concerns with a parent’s ability to meet the needs of their child or be protective of them, the parent is given notice of a Pre-Proceedings Meeting.

The Local Authority will already believe that they have sufficient evidence to warrant Care Proceedings but will want to give the parent the chance to make improvements to their life and their lifestyle.

The Local Authority will then give the parent 6-8 weeks to make these recommended improvements.

Examples of such concerns, might include:

  1. The parent’s drug and/or alcohol abuse.
  2. The state of a parent’s mental health.
  3. Any neglect issues.

If the Local Authority decide that a situation is urgent, they will consider applying for an Emergency Protection Order.

If the baby has not yet been born, then care proceedings can’t start. (Around a third of pre-proceedings cases involve pre-birth assessments.) If the Local Authority is worried about someone who is pregnant and they want to consider starting proceedings after birth, the pre-proceedings stage can be useful for trying to set a workable framework, so that the family can be kept together.

The time before birth, also allows for the parents to obtain legal advice relating to the pre-birth assessments, and the proposals for after the baby is born.

If you are asked to attend a pre-proceedings meeting it is important to contact us immediately.

What is the Letter Before Proceedings?

If it is decided that the situation is not so serious as to require immediate removal of a child, the Local Authority will issue a ‘letter before proceedings’ to the parents. The Local Authority will phrase the letter in an easy to understand way, so that the parents will be able to fully comprehend what the letter means.

The letter will normally contain:

  • A summary of what the Local Authority has concerns about;
  • A summary of what support has already been given;
  • What parents need to do now;
  • How they will be helped through the next stages;
  • How quickly they need to accomplish everything that has been asked of them; plus it will list,
  • Information on how to obtain legal advice and advocacy.

Legal Representation at the Pre-Proceedings Meeting

It is important that when the parent attends the Pre-Proceedings Meeting they bring with them their own legal representation. A failure to bring legal representation will mean that the meeting is likely to be re-arranged until the parent has appointed a legal professional.

You will qualify for Legal Aid for an Ashmans solicitor to go with you to a Pre-proceedings Meeting, so please call us for immediate advice.

Contact us Now

You can get in touch with us in a number of ways. You can call us on 0333 009 6275, available 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

If you would prefer you can email us on enquiries@ashmanssolicitors.com or complete our Free Online Enquiry Form and we’ll be delighted to help you.

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Contact us for a free, initial no obligation consultation, or request a free call back

Why Choose Us for your Family Law case?

  • We work with legal aid clients and can assist with obtaining legal aid, if that is appropriate.
  • We offer you a free initial consultation.
  • We are always aware of the relevant laws and regulations relating to children, including patient confidentiality and medical treatment.
  • We have the sensitivity to understand the needs of a child when representing their interests.
  • We demonstrate the ability to represent our clients effectively.
  • We show commitment to representing the interests of clients, especially children.
  • Our experienced family law team will always put you and your child’s best interests first.
  • We have multi-lingual staff in all of our offices, who will give you immediate assistance.
  • You can be assured of competitive prices and a very high success rate.
  • We have an expert team of in-house family law specialists, each with many years of experience representing clients in family courts.
  • We are dedicated to providing the best possible legal advice and services to those going through difficult times.
  • Our understanding and experienced family solicitors can give you professional guidance and support on getting a divorce or a civil partnership dissolution. They’ll also advise on other options, such as legal separation.
  • If you’re being forced into a marriage against your will, we can help you to arrange a Forced Marriage Protection Order.
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Don't take our word for it

Ashmans Solicitors were completely professional in their approach from start to finish. They kept me informed of my case throughout and I was overjoyed with the outcome and service.

Jill Buckley
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