Mental health issues including learning disabilities
There are a number of parents involved with child protection cases, and care proceedings taken by local authorities, who because of learning difficulties or other mental health issues struggle to understand the court process. Their difficulties may affect their ability to care for their child. Obtaining the right support and/or assessment at an early stage may help parents resolve concerns, but if a care application is made, it will be an expectation of the court that if there are concerns about a parents understanding, then a specialist assessment be obtained. Other support may be necessary from a specialist advocate or adult services at the local authority.
We deal with many clients in this situation and our role in the proceedings includes ensuring that whatever support and assessments our clients need, that they are obtained to enable them to fully participate in the proceedings, and we put forward the strongest case on their behalf.
Parents with learning difficulties may not be able to agree to the voluntary accommodation of a child under s20 of the Children Act 1989 in which case a child cannot be accommodated by the local authority without a court order. This is an issue which has arisen in a large number of cases we have dealt with.
We have also been involved in a small number of cases where parents lack the capacity to instruct a solicitor where the Official Solicitor becomes involved in the case.
Should you find that as a consequence of learning difficulties or learning disability your parenting is called into question, then at Prism Family Law, we may be able to help you. In such a case we would recommend that you contact us at the earliest opportunity on 0191 269 6871 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org for legal advice and help upon your case.
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