Family Safety Week, May 2-5, 2017 this year focuses on protecting some of the most vulnerable members of our community — babies, toddlers and children under five.
Every child deserves the best start in life. Odd bumps or scrapes are part of growing up and are how we learn about the world around us. These are referred to as accidental injuries. It is non-accidental injuries that are investigated by the Legal and Medical profession. This situation can be hugely distressing for parents who will need legal advice and possibly representation to establish whether those injuries were accidental or non accidental.
On average, half of under fives attend A&E every year following an accident that didn’t have to happen. More information on protecting your children can be found through The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), which is a British charity that aims to save lives and prevent life-changing injuries which occur as a result of accidents.
You may be new to parenting and you are not alone! There are many groups and informative courses which you may enrol on, to ensure that you are equipped for parenthood. Even if you are a 2nd, 3rd or 4th time parent, as the world around us evolves, so does the nature of protecting our children on a daily basis. A child needs to be safe continuously through their development until they are old enough to care for themselves. The most serious accidents happen in the kitchen and on the stairs. At meal times you must ensure that you are cooking safely and are keeping children out of the kitchen whilst cooking. For example: children can easily burn themselves on hot surfaces like oven doors. Curiosity and a spirit of adventure may lead a child into danger. Within the kitchen it is vital that you keep dangerous medicines and cleaning products high up, out of reach and, ideally, locked away.
Parents can obtain information on courses at their local children centres/libraries/Councils and even schools and GP surgeries which teach new skills and provide an understanding of protecting your children.
Home & Garden Safety Checklists should be considered by all parents with young children and this can be accessed through the RoSPA website here.
The Local Authority (Children and Young Persons Services, otherwise known as Social Care) may become involved after receiving referrals expressing concerns about the care being afforded to a child or children. These are known as Public Law matters. These are different to Private Law matters, which do not involve the Local Authority but do involve CAFCASS.
John Fowlers Solicitors offer initial advice around early involvement of Social Care and child protection issues. We also attend meetings, such as a Public Law Outline meetings, whereby parents are required to attend a legal meeting with their representative when matters relating to their children are discussed. These meetings are to avoid the Local Authority going to Court to seek an Interim Care Order for removal of the children into foster care.
Our team of solicitors have a wealth of experience in this area of law and are able to offer initial advice and assistance around early involvement of Social Care and any child protection issues, since every child has rights for their emotional and psychological needs to be met.
At John Fowlers, we understand that any legal proceedings but particularly one which involve the possibility of children being removed from the care of a parent can be extremely difficult and distressing for all parties involved. We therefore take every step possible to provide a caring and professional yet empathetic approach to such matters, delivering quality advice to those in difficult situations in a sensitive and transparent way. We also assist greatly with Private Law matters, which often do raise child safety issues. We are able offer any support and advise regarding making a Private Law application or defending a Public Law application. Discover more about our Private Law services here.