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This section is aimed specifically at children who need legal aid or advice and assistance.
Our leaflet Legal aid for children explains what to do if you want help from a solicitor for reasons such as:
- you need advice about having to go to a children’s hearing
- you want a decision that a children’s panel has made about you changed
- you have a legal problem that a civil court might be able to sort out. Civil courts deal with cases that aren’t about criminal law. For example:
- your Mum and Dad are splitting up and you want to tell the court who you want to live with
- your step-parent wants to adopt you.
- you’re in trouble with the police under the criminal law.
If you're an adult and seeking legal aid for something else that involves children (for example, to fight for custody of your children, or to adopt a child) you should go to the page on civil legal aid.
Children can get three different kinds of legal aid:
Children’s legal aid and assistance
- Helps children and/or adults to get legal advice about going to a children’s hearing and representation in court if they appeal a decision of the children’s panel.
Criminal legal aid and assistance
- This pays for a solicitor to help you if you are in trouble with the police and are going to appear before an adult criminal court instead of at a children’s hearing.
Civil legal aid and assistance
- This pays for a solicitor to help you in a civil court with non-criminal matters like adoption or getting money after an accident.
Can children apply for legal aid?
By “children”, we mean anyone under 16. It also includes someone who is 16 or 17 if a children’s panel has placed them on a supervision requirement.
If you're 12 or more, you're usually considered old enough to ask a solicitor to work for you and to apply for legal aid for you. If you are under 12, your solicitor has to be sure you understand what it means to ask for a solicitor’s help. If they think you don’t fully understand, they will tell you that someone else can apply for you, for example your Mum or Dad.
You will have to go and see a solicitor first. You can only get legal aid through a solicitor.
Legal Aid News
21, May, 2013
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15, May, 2013
Court and Police Station Duty Schemes UpdateRead article
14, May, 2013
Applications invited for Streams 1 and 2 of the Making Advice Work programmeRead article
01, May, 2013
6 May Bank HolidayRead article
30, Apr, 2013
Equalities Mainstreaming Report PublishedRead article
29, Apr, 2013
Making Advice Work grant funding programmeRead article
25, Apr, 2013
Board to manage £7.45 million advice fundingRead article
25, Jan, 2013
Legal Aid Applicant Sentenced for FraudRead article