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PLO and Care Proceedings – the process explained

April 1, 2022

PLO and Care Proceedings can be a scary and difficult time for everyone involved.

Graduate Paralegal Rebecca Hamilton has outlined the basics in order to explain the process and what you can expect. However, for detailed advice and further information please contact us on 01204 377600.

What is a PLO meeting?

A PLO meeting, or pre-proceedings, is where the Local Authority will meet with you and decide whether they are going to apply to the Court for Care Proceedings.

You will receive a PLO letter from the Local Authority, this will set out the Local Authority’s main concerns and they will provide you with a date and time for your meeting.

If you receive a PLO letter you must contact a solicitor to attend the meeting with you. You are entitled to free legal advice. Please contact our offices on 01204 377 600 for further assistance.

What happens after a PLO meeting?

Following a PLO meeting there will be a review period of approximately 6-8 weeks. There will then be a further meeting where the Local Authority will review your progress.

At this stage there are three possibilities:

  1. Pre-proceedings end as the Local Authority are satisfied with your progress
  2. The Local Authority continue to monitor you and schedule another review meeting
  3. The Local Authority apply for Care Proceedings in relation to your child

What are Care Proceedings?

The Local Authority can only apply for a Care Order if they believe threshold is crossed – that your child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm.

If the Local Authority believe this to be the case, they will apply to the Family Courts for a Care or a Supervision Order.  

Any final arrangements for your child will be made by the Court within six months, unless there are exceptional circumstances. 

What should I do if the Local Authority issue Care Proceedings in relation to my child?

When Care Proceedings are issued by the Local Authority you are entitled to legal aid meaning you should contact a solicitor immediately who will be able to represent you throughout the proceedings.

Remember – your child’s best interests will be at the heart of any decision/s the Court makes and you must work openly and honestly with any professionals during the course of the proceedings. 

We have many experienced solicitors available to help you through PLO/Care Proceedings. Should you require our assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01204 377600 or email familydepartment@afglaw.co.uk