Children and Families

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The Children and Families team operate in a dynamic, fast paced environment working on some of the most sensitive and vulnerable children’s cases which requires a safe pair of hands.  Our busy team of childcare lawyers work to support Gloucestershire’s Children’s Services.The team is led by Kelly Forrest and supported by three senior lawyers Annabel Butler , John Weatherall and Victoria Wilson.

Our team of lawyers has a wealth of experience, legal expertise and a deep understanding of the child protection arena. This ensures that our clients are given the best advice on a range of options, to ensure the best possible outcomes for children.

Areas of expertise

  • Family Court matters pursuant to the Public Law Outline
  • Private law matters
  • Adoption law
  • Orders under the inherent jurisdiction
  • Child sexual exploitation
  • Public interest immunity
  • Forced marriage
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Radicalisation
  • Internationalchild care cases and Hague Convention adoption matters
  • Care provisions for older children and young adults
  • Secure accommodation
  • Deprivation of liberty
  • Discharge of care orders
  • Advocacy.    

"My experience of working with legal services has always been positive. I have worked with some fantastic solicitors who have worked alongside the social work teams to get best possible outcomes for children. I have always found solicitors approachable and balanced in the legal advice being provided."
Children’s Services case progression manager

Additional support

We also play a key role in implementing Gloucestershire’s in-house Family Drug and Alcohol Court team in Gloucester, working with the National FDAC Unit, Tavistock and Portman, the judiciary, HMCTS, CAFCASS, Specialist Children’s Services and other key agencies.

Our principal and senior lawyers contribute to the local Family Justice Board and Performance group, which in turn fosters close working relationships with CAFCASS and the local judiciary.

We also provide a telephone duty helpline for our clients (office hours); meaning there is always a friendly and expert lawyer to speak to should our clients require urgent or immediate legal advice.

In May 2019, Gloucestershire Council launched its Social Work Academy and our lawyers also provide on-going legal training for our social workers.

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