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Non-Accidental Injury and Care Proceedings

Posted: 22 April 2024

What happens after Children’s Services becomes involved?

Following a referral to Children’s Services in respect of a non-accidental injury, you may be asked to consent to your child being placed in the care of a family member or in foster care whilst an investigation takes place. You should contact a solicitor as soon as possible if this happens. If you do not consent, it is likely that the Local Authority will apply to the Court for an Interim Care Order. To enable them to place the child, and any other children you have, outside of your care. This can happen very quickly.

Non-Accidental Injury and Care Proceedings

What if I do not have an explanation, but I did not hurt my child?

If your child has been injured, there will need to be a full investigation. Sometimes there is an underlying health condition which may explain the injuries. Your solicitor can discuss with you what options are available and how you can obtain the best evidence to present to the Court.

What happens after the evidence is in?

Once everyone has filed their evidence, the Court will hold a Fact-Finding Hearing. At the hearing, relevant individuals (parents, social worker and medical experts) will be asked to give oral evidence. In addition, each party will be able to ask questions. The Judge will listen to the evidence and ask questions if necessary. At the conclusion of the Fact-Finding Hearing, the Court will make a decision on the balance of probabilities, as to the cause of the injury.  As well as whether the injuries were accidental or inflicted. If it is decided the injuries were inflicted, the Court will consider whether a perpetrator can be identified.

What if someone other than a parent is the one to hurt a child?

Sometimes a child who has been injured has been around a number of people, as well as their parents. This commonly includes a parent’s partner and could also include grandparents or other caregivers. The group of people who may have had the opportunity to have injured the child are commonly referred to as the “pool of perpetrators”. These people may be invited to join in with proceedings as “intervenors”. Some possible perpetrators may not become a party to proceedings; however, they may be asked to give evidence at the fact-finding hearing.

Specialist and legal support

If you have been accused of inflicting an injury on your child, you will need specialist advice who are committed to supporting you and you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. 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 there is an ongoing criminal investigation, our criminal solicitors can assist you with this alongside the family proceedings.

If you would like advice, or to find out more about our services, please contact us on 01245 493959, 01473 226577, or email

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