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Social Services have asked me to leave the family home

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What can I do in these circumstances?

Parents often ask this question when seeking advice from our Care Team:

When Social Services become involved with parents in relation to concerns about their child, they sometimes ask one parent to leave the family home whom they believe poses a risk to the child. However, Local Authorities have a duty to inform the parent who leaves the family home that this is a voluntary action. The Local Authority must also keep the family informed of the outcome of any investigations undertaken and any steps that are required.   

To demonstrate the Local Authorities duty to families, a complaint was made by a father about Newcastle-Upon-Tyne City Council which was recently referred to the Social Care Ombudsman (17 December 2020) who reminded Local Authorities of their duties when asking parents to leave the family home:

‘The council did not review the agreement while the accusations were investigated and instead left the man with the distress and uncertainty of not knowing for how long he would be away from his family’.

Social Care Ombudsman carried out their investigations and made these recommendations:

  • Amend the Safety Plan template to ensure signatories understand the agreement is voluntary and to explain any consequences of not following the agreement.
  • Remind relevant staff of the importance of providing parents with all the information needed to make informed decisions and keeping a record of any agreements.
  • Produce a strategy to ensure it meets the timescales for statutory children’s complaints, in particular organising and holding the stage three panel within 30 days.
  • Provide guidance and training to relevant staff on unconscious bias and the importance of inclusive and diverse public services.

Final decision: We have completed our investigation. The Council was at fault. The action we have recommended is a suitable remedy for the injustice caused.

For further reading of summary and report, click the link below:

If Social Services have asked you to leave the family home due to concerns relating to your child, it is important that you seek legal advice immediately. If you wish to discuss your situation further, please contact our Care Team at Johnson Astills Solicitors, we have a dedicated family and care team. If you have any further questions and require legal advice, please contact the office on 0116 255 4855 (Leicester) or 01509 610 312 (Loughborough).

It is important to understand that Social Services aim is not to separate parents from their children. Local Authorities will only intervene in family life, if they believe a child is at risk of harm. Therefore, is it important you seek independent legal advice so that the concerns can be discussed fully. We can assist you to understand Social Services worries and advice what action you should take to ensure the safety of your child.

If you have any further questions and require legal advice, please contact the office on 0116 255 4855 (Leicester) or 01509 610 312 (Loughborough) care team.