Job roles in law firms – advising on child care proceedings

This article is part of our Job roles in law series which explores some of the legal sector’s practice areas and the associated job roles which may offer a starting point for someone looking to start a career in law.


This area of law relates to children being taken into care by local authorities and is carried out by legal practitioners who act on behalf of parents, grandparents or guardians.

Family law departments in law firms throughout the country handle this sort of work and it is separated out from other family law matters here since there is a specific CILEx unit covering this area of law.

What’s involved?

When social workers apply to the Family Court for a care order the parents or other carers seek advice from lawyers who specialise in child care proceedings. The work involves reviewing the application that has been made to the court, taking detailed information from clients and representing them in court to try to get the best outcome for the client. Decisions are taken at the initial hearing on whether an interim care or supervision order should be made, where the child should live until the final hearing and what level of contact there can be.

 What jobs are there for non-qualified staff?

Although initial client meetings and any representation in court will be led by qualified staff, a lot of the detailed written statements in support of a parent or grandparent’s claim can be delegated to unqualified staff.

What job titles will be advertised by recruitment agencies?

Family law paralegal, family law administrator. Applying for legal secretarial jobs is also a good route into this area of law.

What CILEx units will support my application for these job roles?

We recommend that you enrol on courses leading to the CILEx Level 3 Certificate in Law and Practice (Child Care Practice). As well as an introductory unit you will study Family Law and the Practice of Child Care Law. Have a look at the tables of contents to see what is involved. You will also study two professional skills units.

If you already have a qualifying law degree, you can achieve your CILEx Graduate Fast-track Diploma by studying Level 6 Family Practice, Level 6 Client Care Skills and one other CILEx Level 6 practice unit of your choice, which we recommend should relate to a law unit studied as part of your degree. If you have not studied family law as part of your law degree, we also recommend that you study this unit at either Level 3 or Level 6 too.  The Practice of Child Care Law is available as a CILEx Level 3 unit, which would not contribute to your GFTD but would be relevant to the practice area.

What have other students achieved?

Kristina Steele was a secretary before studying to become a Chartered Legal Executive. She is a family law practitioner who has worked on child protection matters.

Helping couples become the legal parents of a surrogate child is my favourite area of family law

Kristina Steele discovered her passion for law while working as a legal Personal Assistant. The family law trainee Legal Executive and Graduate Member of CILEx (GCILEx) is now working towards qualifying as a Chartered Legal Executive.

March 11th, 2019|
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