Why choose McClure Collins Solicitors?
The core of our work with Children’s Hearings is to help parents, often to win back their children who have been taken into care. The needs of the children are the most important consideration, and we at McClure Collins believe that children are best looked after within a loving and caring family. We all know that no family is perfect, but you should not have your children taken away from you just because you are less than perfect.
Our work on your behalf in the Children’s Hearing system often involves five stages.
The first stage is when the Social Work Department tries to get an emergency order to remove children from their home. We will appear in the Sheriff Court on your behalf and argue your position, usually to the effect that no emergency order is needed. We may argue that the legal test to be applied here is high, and that a more measured approach by the Social Work Department is needed.
The second stage involves us advising you and appearing with you at a Children’s Hearing when the Reporter to the Children’s Panel (assisted by information from the Social Work Department and other sources) lays Grounds of Referral before the Children’s Hearing. These Grounds of Referral can allege that say, the child is beyond parental control or that a lack of parenting is likely to impair the child’s development. We can advise you whether it is better to accept the Grounds or to force the Reporter to go to the Sheriff Court to try to establish the Grounds at Proof.
The third area in which we can help you is at the Proof Hearing at the Sheriff Court. We can lead evidence (for example, parenting experts, guidance teachers, other people who can speak to your style of parenting and any beneficial impact on the children). We may have to stress that the legal test to be applied by the Court is high, and that establishing Grounds of Referral on the basis of, for example, a lack of parental care is not the same as deciding who is Parent of the Year.
The fourth area where we can help you is by appearing with you at the Children’s Hearing if Grounds have been agreed by you, or indeed if a Sheriff has found Grounds to be established after Proof. That particular Children’s Hearing could be the most important day of your parenting life, and it is important that you are properly advised. It is also important that any expert information focuses on the best interests of the child and hopefully keeps the child with the family.
Fifthly, in any Court case mistakes can be made. The remedy for any such errors is usually an appeal. At every stage of the whole proceedings, we will keep you advised of your right to appeal and if appropriate implement your instructions to appeal the decision of a Court or Panel which has fallen into error.
Our view is that family life is the most important part of our whole lives. If the Social Work Department and the Child Protection system operated by the State impacts your family life, it is important that you get good legal advice. The advice we give will be based on a sound strategy supported by appropriate legal tactics. Sometimes that strategy will involve contesting every step taken by the Social Work Department and the Reporter to the Children’s Hearing. Sometimes it will involve a strategy based on co-operation to achieve your overall aim of family reunification. Always, it will involve the children’s interests being placed at the centre and is the first and paramount consideration. Each child and each parent is unique. Accordingly, each case must be approached entirely on its own facts and merits.
Feel free to contact our office for an appointment to discuss your family’s unique circumstances.
You may well qualify for Legal Aid.
Call Us on 0141 423 7181
Established in 1984, we have over 80 years’ combined experience in appearing in Courts and Tribunals for clients and also providing advice in many areas of Scots Law including criminal defence, mental health and children’s hearings.
0141 423 7181
139 Allison Street,
Glasgow, G42 8RY
Full Contact Details Here
OFFICE OPERATING HOURS:
9:00am – 5:00pm Mon-Thurs
9:00am – 4:30pm Fri
139 Allison Street, Glasgow, G42 8RY