I have been invited to join Care Proceedings as an Intervenor
The role of an intervenor in care proceedings
The parties in Care proceedings are normally limited to those directly involved in the case i.e., the parents of the children, social services and the guardian and each party’s solicitor.
Additional people are referred to as intervenors and their role is to assist in resolving disputes in the proceedings such as the perpetrator of injuries to a child.
Intervenors may be affected by the outcome of a case and are therefore granted permission by the court to join care proceedings.
Intervenors are often only allowed to be involved with the limited part of the case that affects them. They therefore will not usually receive all of the papers, but only the relevant documents which will allow them to participate in the proceedings.
When is an intervenor invited to join the proceedings?
The most common reason why an intervenor would be allowed to attend care proceedings is when a child has sustained a ‘non-accidental’ injury.
The intervenor will be invited to join the proceedings because they have come into contact with the child in the time period when the injury was said to have taken place.
Intervenors will be invited to put forward their case to the court regarding their involvement with or care of the child in a find of fact hearing where the court is determining the person from a group responsible for an injury to a child.
Who can be an intervenor?
Anyone who has come into contact with the child/children over a period of time relevant to the case can be granted permission to join court proceedings and present their case.
The most common people who may act as intervenors include:
- Extended family members;
- Nursery staff; and
- Third parties.
This group of people is referred to as the pool of potential perpetrators and the court can make findings against them that they have caused the injuries.
What do intervenors do in care proceedings?
Intervenors will be required to attend court and take part in hearings known as finding of fact where the court will decide whether the injuries the child sustained were accidental.
During this hearing, an intervenor will be able to give their side of the story to the court and provide any supporting evidence that backs up their claims.
Have you received a letter inviting you to join the proceedings as an intervenor?
You should seek immediate legal advice.
You should note that any findings that are made against you by the court will have negative consequences on your personal and professional life, so it’s important not to ignore this request.
Kings Solicitors have unrivalled experience of dealing with challenging cases. We will review the medical evidence and provide expert and practical advice to avoid adverse findings being made against you.
Being an intervenor as a result of being placed within the pool of perpetrators can have a significant impact. This is because social services may become involved with the intervenor’s own children and place conditions of limiting contact with any child under the age of 18 until the conclusion of the finding of fact. In the case of a child-minder, it is often the case that they are suspended from caring for children until the investigations in the family court are concluded which can have financial implications and cause damage to reputation.
Funding for an Intervenor
Legal aid is available but is subject to the intervenors income and means assessment.