Usually in care proceedings, a limited number of people are involved in these confidential matters. These consist of the local authority, the parents and the children via their court-appointed guardian who is an independent voice of the child.
However, there are proceedings that do involve other people. This may happen in cases where an injury has occurred to a child which the local authority says is non-accidental
The court’s role is to decide whether there a non-accidental injury has been caused to a child and, where it can, the court will confirm who has caused that injury.
The court describes all the people who may have caused the injury to a child as being in the ‘pool of perpetrators’.
If a person has been identified as possibly being in the ‘pool of perpetrators’ and they are not a parent, the court can add them into the court proceedings as ‘intervenors’. This could be other family members, friends, a child minder or anyone who has had care of the child within the relevant timeframe.
The intervenors will be provided with the court documents, including any medical evidence. The intervenors will be asked to provide a statement to the court which will provide information about when that person had care of the child, what happened during that time and how the child was presenting. The intervenors will be invited to attend court and, if required, to give evidence.
If you are requested to become an intervenor in care proceedings, there may be a significant impact on your own life. Social services may become involved with your own children and, if you are a childcare professional, it is likely that you will be suspended pending further enquiries being made about this injury to the child, which will prevent you from looking after other children.
It is vital that you obtain independent legal advice. Legal aid funding may be available to intervenors and will be decided by the Legal Aid Agency subject to that person’s income.
How we can help
If you are a person who has been joined into care proceedings as an intervenor, please contact our experienced care proceedings and children services team who can help you with any concerns you may have. Contact our team, on 0161 694 4149 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. for your free initial telephone discussion. If you prefer, you can fill in our online form or alternatively, you can email us on email@example.com and we’ll call you back.
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