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Public Law Outline Meeting (PLO)

Image of a little girl holding an unrecognizable woman’s hand in the park

Commencement of PLO Meeting

Public Law Outline Meetings (often called ‘PLO Meetings’) are held by a Local Authority when their Children’s Services Department has significant concerns about the care that a child is receiving.

The aim of these meetings is to support a family to make changes which will enable them to look after a child safely. However, if these changes cannot be made within a reasonable time, then this could result in court proceedings being taken.

PLO Letter

If a Local Authority starts the Public Law Outline process, then the parents will receive a letter setting out very clearly the concerns of the Local Authority. This letter should set out the steps that need to be taken to address these concerns. The parents will also be asked to attend a meeting in order to discuss these matters further. If necessary, separate meetings can be arranged for each parent or carer.

The PLO Meeting

At any meeting, the Local Authority will set out the concerns and set out the steps that need to be taken in order to avoid an application being made to the Court for a Care or Supervision Order. The Local Authority will set out what improvements are expected and when. If supports are to be provided to assist a parent or carer these will also be set out. Sometimes the Local Authority will also seek to arrange for specialist assessments to be completed.

If you have been asked to attend such a meeting, or face issues in relation to the care of your child, it is essential that you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. At Fairbrother & Darlow, we take a non-judgemental and specialised approach in supporting a parent or carer throughout this process.

In many cases you will be entitled to legal aid which will cover your legal costs in being represented throughout this procedure. Contact us in order to find out whether you are likely to qualify for legal aid.

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