ACCOMMODATED CHILDREN

Parents may agree to having their child removed or ‘accommodated’ by Children’s Services under section 20 of the Children Act 1989, while an investigation and assessment is carried out.

ADJOURNMENT

Postponing a court hearing authorised by the Judge.

ADOPTION

A legal process by which a child becomes a permanent and full member of a new family. The biological parents lose Parental Responsibility and the new parents obtain Parental Responsibility for the child.

ADVOCATE

The role of an advocate is to: Make sure a young person can make their wishes and feelings known, attend decision making meetings on behalf of, or with the young person, provide unbiased information to the young person, support the young person, make sure that the young person’s legal rights are upheld and that they are fairly treated, and help the young person to make a complaint if they wish to do so.

ADVOCATE’S MEETING

A meeting of lawyers required by the Public Law Outline to be held prior to a case management conference and issues resolutions hearing. The purpose of the meeting is to identify and narrow the issues in the case and prepare for the next hearing.

APPLICANT

The applicant is the person applying to court for the order.

ASSESSMENT

A complex and skilled process of gathering together and evaluating information about a child, their family and their circumstances.   Its purpose is to determine children’s needs in order to plan for their immediate and long term care and decide what services and resources must be provided.   Child care assessments are usually co-ordinated by Social Services, but depend upon teamwork with other agencies (such as educational and health).

BARRISTER

Barristers are legal professionals who specialise in courtroom advocacy, drafting legal pleadings, and giving expert legal opinions

BRIEF

A summary of facts and instructions given to barristers prior to a hearing.

BUNDLE

An information pack containing all of the relevant information and evidence to the case which is referred to during proceedings. It includes documents from both parties including position statements, exhibits and reports.