Care Department

Care Department

Hall Smith Whittingham’s care department includes an approximate 25 years of collective experience.

We represent clients extensively when Social Services become involved in families.  We represent clients involved in both Care Proceedings and Pre Proceedings matters – the stage entered into by the Local Authority and parents to avoid the issue of Care Proceedings.

We can also offer advice in relation to lesser forms of involvement from Social Services including Child in Need Plans and Child Protection Case Conferences. We also represent other family members, potential adopters and foster carers.

Our team is also available to assist with Private Family Orders such as Child Arrangements (for contact and living arrangements), Specific Issue Orders and Prohibited Steps Orders when the same arise within existing proceedings.

All members possess a strong knowledge of the essentials of each type of Care Proceedings and Private Family Law Orders. We would however refer clients for standalone Private Law Child Act Matters to our Family Department.

Between all members of the team, they have experience in the following:

  • Complex baby death cases;
  • Cases of Non-Accidental Injury to children;
  • Cases involving complex medical issues;
  • Cases involving forensic technical evidence;
  • Cases involving serious allegations of every type of abuse;
  • Cases involving the jurisdiction of other countries;
  • Cases involving the instruction of independent social workers and other experts including medical experts;
  • Court of Protection;
  • Parents or carers who lack litigation capacity (require a 3rd party to act on their behalf);
  • Cases involving children giving evidence;
  • Deprivation of Liberty to Children;
  • Disputes around contact to children on care;
  • Disputes around Parental Responsibility/Declaration of Parentage applications within in care proceedings

In most Care Proceedings, parents are automatically covered under Legal Aid for full representation and advice. The teams also has experience in representing family members in which Legal Aid is not automatically granted.

The department advises and represents parents and family members in proceedings around the following:

  • Pre-Proceedings with the Local Authority;
  • Care Proceedings;
  • Children In Need Plans 
  • Child Protection Case Conferences
  • Contesting Family assessments in Care Proceedings, including initial viability assessments and full fostering and Special Guardianship Assessments 
  • Representation of potential adopters and foster carers
  • Discharge of Care Order 
  • Applications for contact with a child in Care 

Anna Forrest-Moseley – Head of Care Department

Anna is the head of our team and has been at HSW since August 2018.   Anna qualified as a Solicitor in 2004 and has many years experience acting for parents and children in complex Private Law and Public Law Children Act matters both in Staffordshire and Cheshire.

Anna specialises in all matters concerning Care Proceedings and is registered on the Law Society’s Accredited Children Panel.

Robert Clutton – ACILEx Trainee

Robert has been with HSW since July 2013.  Robert joined HSW as an Apprentice in the Administration Department.

12 months later, Robert moved into the Child Care Department and is now training with the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (ACILEx) Law School with a view to qualifying as a Legal Executive.

Sophie Shaw – Trainee Solicitor 

Sophie joined HSW in January 2022 and is due to qualify as a Solicitor in January 2024.

I completed my Law Degree at the University of Manchester in 2020 and completed the Legal Practice Course with Masters at the University of Law the following year, achieving a Distinction overall.

For any queries or any further information please contact a member of the Care Department by clicking here