ASK THE EXPERT – “I have received a letter saying I have to attend a PLO, what should I do?”


Each week we are taking questions from our clients and contacts.  This week Miss Connell from Sheffield asks:

“I have received a letter saying I have to attend a PLO, what should I do?”

The Head of our Care Department, Martyn Wood, answers.

“If you have received a letter from Social Services saying you need to attend a PLO (Public Law Outline), this is serious and you need to get legal advice as soon as possible.  

This letter means that Social Services are worried about the care of your child(ren), or their safety.  They want to work with you and your family to address their concerns.  If you ignore the letter and don’t attend the proposed meeting they could issue court proceedings to potentially remove your child(ren) from your care.

The letter will usually list their concerns and how they want to address them with you when you meet.  This is called a PLO letter – a letter before proceedings, or issues that cause concern(s).  This is usually the last opportunity to avoid court proceedings.

The aim of the meeting is to see if any issues can be resolved without the Local Authority issuing proceedings.  In the meeting you may be asked to attend specific parenting courses or propose support for mental health or substance abuse etc.

In this case Legal Aid funding is automatic as long as you provide a copy of the letter to us.

If you have received a PLO letter and you’re unsure as to how to proceed, we can offer you practical and compassionate advice and attend with you to the meeting.  We can also assist you if proceedings have been issued against you for removal of your child(ren).  It is important that you contact us as soon as possible”

You can contact Martyn Wood and the team on 0114 3583134 or email us via our contact page

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We can confirm that our Sheffield and Barnsley offices are now open.  We are ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all our staff and clients by offering an appointment only service.

Please do not attend without firstly making an appointment.

To help us manage this we will be keeping our office doors locked so we can ensure that there is only ever one client in our reception area at any given time.  We would also ask that you attend your appointment by yourself where possible to ensure we are limiting the number of people attending at the office.

If you are unsure of what to do, please telephone our offices on 0114 358 3134.

Please note our Free Wednesday Clinic is currently suspended until further notice.

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