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Intervenors in Care Proceedings

Posted: 29 April 2024

In care proceedings, the parties are usually the Local Authority who made the application to court, the parents of the child and the child themselves. Who will be represented by an independent professional called the Guardian.

Sometimes other people may be invited to join the proceedings. Usually this happens in cases that involve a non-accidental injury to a child. The people invited to join the proceedings are those who have come into contact with the child during the time period when the child was injured. The group of people who may have had the opportunity to have injured the child are commonly referred to as the “pool of perpetrators”.

care interveners blog

Why should I engage with proceedings when it is not my child?

Intervenors are usually affected by the outcome of the case, which may cause a significant impact on their own lives. If an intervenor has children of their own, children’s services may become involved with those children. If there is a police investigation into the child’s injuries, the outcome of the proceedings may factor into their investigation.

An unwillingness to engage with proceedings could also be considered an indicator of wrongdoing. Evidence given by intervenors allows the court to make decisions as to who has caused the injuries to the child. They will be asked to attend hearings and usually give evidence at a “Fact-Finding” Hearing. At the end of the Fact-Finding Hearing, the court will make a decision about what happened to the child, and who may have harmed the child. This is referred to as “Findings”. It is important to attend all hearings, give full and open evidence, and comply with any court directions.

Findings against you by the court could cause long-standing consequences on your life.

What is my role in proceedings?

Intervenors will be given limited access to court documents, including statements of other parties and any medical evidence. They are asked to provide a statement explaining any periods where they had care of the child, and their version of events, providing any evidence which supports their story.

The contribution of intervenors in care proceedings helps the court make a decision regarding who caused injury to the child. If the injuries were caused by one or both of the parents, it is important for the court to protect the child from future harm by refusing to return the child to their care.

Following the fact-finding hearing, regardless of what findings have been made, an intervenor’s role in the proceedings ends. If findings have been made against an intervenor, care proceedings may be issued in respect of their own children.

Do I need to pay for legal representation?

Legal Aid is automatically available for biological parents of any children involved. Legal aid may be available for intervenors joined to the proceedings. However, this is not automatic and will depend on an individual’s income and capital.

At THB, our experienced childcare solicitors will be able help you navigate what is likely to be a challenging case. We are able to review medical expert reports and advise you accordingly.

If you have been joined as an intervenor in care proceedings, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. If you would like advice, or to find out if you are eligible for legal aid, please contact our specialist childcare solicitors on 01245 493959, 01473 226577, or send an email

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