IMPORTANT UPDATE: COVID-19

Public Law Outline Meetings

What is a PLO Meeting?

When Social Workers are concerned about the welfare of a child (this means their safety, physical health, mental health and emotional health) a Local Authority may invite the parents to attend a Public Law Outline Meeting (known as a PLO meeting.)

How do I know I have been invited to a PLO meeting?

The Social Worker should provide a letter known as a “Letter before Issue.” This sets out the date for the PLO meeting and the reasons why the Local Authority are worried about your child/children.

Am I entitled to a solicitor?

Yes, you are entitled to Legal Aid funding irrespective of your circumstances if you are a parent or a person with Parental Responsibility for a child (for example, you have an order for a child to live with you.)

How important are PLO meetings?

PLO meetings a very serious. They are often described as a “last chance.” If parents/carers do not work with the Local Authority and make changes, then the Local Authority’s next step would be to issue Court Proceedings. This could, at worst, mean an application for the children to be removed from their parent’s care.

What happens at the PLO meeting?

A PLO meeting is attended by the Local Authority, the Social Worker and usually a Team Manager. The parents and their solicitor are also invited to these meetings. In short, everyone is given an opportunity to speak during the meeting and the Local Authority set out what they want to happen in order to avoid going to Court. Your solicitor will advise you about the meeting, and if necessary ask for meetings in order to discuss matters in more detail. Often, a further review PLO meeting will be scheduled so that everyone can meet to discuss any progress that has been made.

What should I do if I receive a PLO letter?

If you receive a letter you should seek urgent legal advice. It is so important that you take action at an early stage to give you the best possible chance of resolving issues with the Local Authority.

Contact Us

If you have received a PLO letter please contact our Care team on 01484 504 946 or email care@ramsdens.co.uk to book a free information session at any of our offices.

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