How does court work?

Social services may go to court so a judge can make a decision about whether you can go home or whether you will stay in care. 

A court can be a very long and complicated process. You won't get to speak in court unless you are old enough to instruct your own solicitor and may be asked to give evidence.

who's who at court?

  • at a Magistrates Court, there are usually three Magistrates. They are not paid and are not legally qualified and they have support from a legal clerk
  • in Family Court, there is a well qualified and experienced Judge
  • Solicitor: Mums and Dads will have a solicitor to represent them and prepare their case for court
  • Barrister: The Barrister takes over from the solicitor when going to court. They are specially trained to advocate for Mums and Dads in the court
  • Guardian Ad Litem: this is a person who is appointed by the Court to act on behalf of the child in court proceedings. The Guardian also has a solicitor.