What is a PLO letter?

PLO stands for ‘Public Law Outline’, a set of rules outlining the duties of the local authority when they are concerned about the welfare of the child and are considering making an application to the Court to request that the Court make an order to protect the child.  A PLO letter, also called a letter before proceedings, is a letter that Children’s Services send to parents when their concerns are so serious that they are thinking about making an application to court.

What should I do if I receive a PLO letter?

If you receive a PLO letter you should contact a solicitor to get legal advice.  You should take your PLO letter to the first appointment with your legal representative.

Will I have to pay for legal advice?

If you receive a PLO letter and you have parental responsibility for the child in question you will automatically qualify for legal aid.

My letter says I have to attend a meeting?

The Local Authority will schedule meetings, these are called PLO meetings. These meetings are very important and you should attend with your legal representative. These meetings are your chance to work with Children’s Services to try and prevent your case going to court.

What happens if I do nothing?

If you do nothing then Children’s Services may decide to make an application to court.

What’s the point in working with Children’s Service?

Just because you have received a PLO letter it does not mean that the decision has been made to take your case to court. This is why it is really important to seek legal advice at this stage.


If you have received a PLO letter and require legal advice, please contact our family department who are specialists in dealing with a wide range of Children’s Services legal issues and will be able to support you through the process. If you need any further information please contact Louise Law on 0191 243 8163.