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What should I do if I receive a PLO letter?

Our People - Jalpa Vadgama
17 January, 2024

Receiving a pre-proceedings letter from Social Services can be a concerning and pivotal moment for families. The PLO letter indicates that the Local Authority is troubled about the welfare of your children and is contemplating court involvement.

In such a situation, it is crucial to act swiftly and decisively. Seeking immediate legal advice from a solicitor who specialises in family law or child protection is highly recommended. The guidance provided by a legal professional can help you navigate the complexities of the PLO process, understand the concerns raised, and prepare effectively for the upcoming crucial steps.

Have you received a letter from Social Services inviting you to a PLO meeting?

The PLO letter you received outlines the Local Authority’s worries and shows the necessary steps to avert court proceedings. The upcoming meeting serves as your final opportunity to persuade Social Services, along with their Legal Team, that court intervention may not be necessary. Prior to the meeting, we will meticulously review the list of concerns with you, understanding your perspective to effectively communicate your views to the social worker, team manager, and their Legal Team.

What is the purpose of the PLO meeting?

The PLO meeting is your last chance to convince the Social Services and their Legal Team that they should not take you to Court to take your children away. You need to look at the list of things that they are worried about, and the list of things that you need to do to see what you have done or can do to deal with these problems. We will go through the list of concerns with you, before the meeting, and find out what your views are so we can explain this to the social worker, team manager and their Legal Team.

What can I expect during a PLO meeting?

During the meeting, which typically includes the child’s parents, their solicitors, the social worker, the social worker’s manager, and the social worker’s solicitor, discussions will revolve around the concerns outlined in the letter. You will have the chance to express your viewpoints and address the issues raised by the social worker. Following the meeting, the Social Workers and their Solicitor will deliberate on the next course of action.

What are the possible outcomes of a PLO meeting?

Possible outcomes may include no further action (though this is uncommon), the proposal to sign a written agreement with a subsequent review meeting, or the initiation of court proceedings in severe cases. It is crucial to remain composed during the process, as emotions can run high. We will guide you through the written agreement, providing advice on whether to sign it. Your consent to the agreement is voluntary, and we can negotiate its terms in private discussions with the Local Authority solicitor.

What kind of help can I expect during this process?

Listening to our advice is pivotal throughout this process, and adhering to the terms outlined in the written agreement is essential. Failure to engage with the agreed-upon actions, which could include therapy, a domestic violence course, or a psychiatric/psychological assessment, may prompt the Local Authority to escalate the matter to court. By staying calm, seeking legal guidance, and actively participating in the process, you increase the likelihood of a positive resolution that prioritises the well-being of your children.

How can GN Law help?

If your family is currently dealing with social services involvement through a legal gateway process, PLO process, or if care proceedings have been initiated, GN Law is here to provide immediate assistance. We prioritise your concerns and offer prompt appointments to address your specific situation.

For further guidance on social services involvement or any related matters concerning your family, feel free to reach out to us at 020 8492 2290. Our dedicated family law solicitors are ready to provide valuable insights and support. Schedule an appointment today by calling us, and let us assist you in navigating through the legal complexities and finding the best solutions for your family.

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