Anthony Collins Solicitors represents and provides advice to parents on childcare and family law issues across Birmingham and the West Midlands.  We have the largest specialist childcare team in Birmingham with five lawyers on the Law Society’s Children Panel (Jas Tamber, Sally Jones, Samantha Woolley, Nev Zaki, and Helen Mottram).

In addition to representing parents within care proceedings, we also offer advice to families wishing to adopt and to other family members such as grandparents, aunts and uncles wishing to care for the children of relatives involved in care proceedings through adoption, special guardianship or foster care. We can advise couples or single people starting on the journey towards building a family through fertility treatment or surrogacy or at the point of breakdown if things go wrong.

Childcare is a broad term that covers all aspects of child welfare, care proceedings or adoption. Our expert team advises families through challenging, complex and demanding cases, such as the child protection process, ensuring that we include the thoughts and needs of the children. From the initial meetings to the conclusion of any court proceedings.

In addition to representing parents within care proceedings, we also offer advice to families wishing to adopt and to other family members such as grandparents, aunts and uncles wanting to care for the children of relatives involved in care proceedings through adoption, special guardianship or foster care. We can advise couples or single people starting on the journey towards building a family through fertility treatment or surrogacy or at the point of breakdown if things go wrong.

The child protection process

Disputes between parents about their children are common, but there are also circumstances in which a local authority may become concerned over the welfare of children.

When Children’s Services suspect that a child might be at risk, they will investigate and take any action necessary to ensure the child is safe.  If Children’s Services receive a referral and decide to make enquiries, they will let you, and a social worker will assess your situation to see if they think your child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm. Children’s Services will also want to see your child alone if this is reasonable.

When a local authority raises child welfare concerns, they will initiate child protection measures and will often call child protection conferences to which parents, family and professionals are invited. These conferences will recommend measures to ensure the safety of the children in question, including providing parents with advice, assessing their abilities as parents, or suggesting that the local authority takes the matter to court and issue care proceedings.

You should allow Children’s Services to see your child to avoid applications to the court for a child assessment order, emergency protection order or care order, which would enable them to remove your child against your wishes. 

Care proceedings will start if the local authority still has serious concerns about the welfare of the child. A care order means the council will take over parental responsibility for your child and will decide where the child can live.  If the local authority applies for a placement order, this allows them to place the child with suitable adopters. Care order will cease if the court discharges the order, another order is made to give parental responsibility to someone else, or the child turns 18.

If there is an application to remove your child from your care, you should seek independent legal advice immediately; it’s best to do this as soon as you are aware that there is a referral to Children’s Services.

The team at Anthony Collins Solicitors understands the complexities of child protection and childcare issues, and we will work with you to explain what is happening at every stage in the process. We will represent you in court and put information to the judge alongside your child, you and the child’s other parent (if applicable), the social workers and a children’s guardian from CAFCASS. We will support you and ensure consideration of the best interests of the child or children.

Our team works very closely with CAFCASS, who often appoint us as solicitors for children experiencing care proceedings. The Children’s Guardian represents the rights and interests of the child, and they will speak time getting to know the child and their family before the hearing. The Children’s Guardian and CAFCASS are independent – they don’t work for the local authority or the court.

Nationally recognised, community-minded

If you need advice in the areas of child welfare, care proceedings or adoption, then we can help. We have developed one of the best and most recognised practices in the West Midlands, with top rankings in both the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners directories. We are one of the very few teams in the Midlands that offer high-quality representation, on the full range of family law issues. We are respected for a supportive and sympathetic approach, working in partnership with the client and acclaimed for the ability to negotiate a mediated settlement, where appropriate, rather than conflict in litigation.

We also hold a Community Legal Services contract, which allows us to offer advice to people on a publicly funded (Legal Aid) basis, meaning that, depending on your financial circumstances, you may not have to pay some or all of our costs.

We have one of the largest and experienced teams of childcare lawyers in the Midlands. Our lawyers specialise in highly complex cases, sometimes involving involved medical evidence and cross-border jurisdictional issues.

Our clients value the expert advice they receive from our team throughout this often difficult process.

Local authority experience and expertise

Disputes between parents about their children are common, but there are also circumstances in which a local authority may become concerned over the welfare of children.

When a local authority raises child welfare concerns, they will initiate child protection measures and will often call child protection conferences to which parents, family and professionals are invited. These conferences will recommend measures to ensure the safety of the children in question, including providing parents with advice, assessing their abilities as parents, or recommending that the local authority takes the matter to court and issue care proceedings.

Our clients value the expert advice they receive from our team throughout this often difficult process.

For more information about how our family law team can help you, or make an appointment, please contact us.

An amazing and fantastic family team. I appreciate all the work you've done for me.
Mr D.
I would recommend Paul Nursall to anyone. He is helpful, knowledgeable and has really helped me get through the situation I was in.
CW - mother of children subject to care proceedings
BBC's Come Home and family breakdown
BBC's Come Home and family breakdown

I have just finished watching the lovely Christopher Eccleston on BBC iPlayer’s Come Home (#spoileralert in case you haven’t seen it yet). It’s about a family where, rather unusually, the mother leaves the marriage, her home and most shockingly, her children.

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