Legal Planning Meetings:

Posted on Sunday, 30th Aug, 2015 at 06:39:28 PM
Before a decision can be made to initiate Care or Supervision Proceedings, a Legal Planning Meeting should be held.

At the Legal Planning Meeting, a decision will be made in principle about whether the Threshold Criteria have been met and whether:
It is in the best interests of the child to provide a further period of support for the family with the aim of avoiding proceedings; or
Proceedings should be initiated immediately.

Information presented to a Child Protection Conference should inform the decision-making process but it is for the local authority to consider whether it should initiate proceedings.

If the decision is taken at the Legal Planning Meeting to undertake a formal pre-proceedings process, the local authority will send to the parents/those with Parental Responsibility either:
A letter before proceedings which states that proceedings are being contemplated; or
A letter of issue which states that proceedings are being initiated.
Where a parent may lack Capacity, consideration should be given as whether personal discussion, involving an Advocate and/or legal representative, should be undertaken before the sending of such a letter.

In pre-birth cases, the timing of the sending of the pre-proceedings letter or letter of issue should take account of the risk of early birth and should ideally be sent at or before 24 weeks.

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