PLO means Public Law Outline, but that does not really mean anything to a parent, so I hope this short explanation will help. When Social workers are very worried about your children, they may decide that they want to go to court. In England (unless it is very urgent) they should write you a letter setting out why they want to go to court and asking you to find a solicitor to come to the meeting with you. This is a PLO letter.
It is really important that you don’t ignore this letter.
It is likely that you will be provided with a list of the local solicitors who are in your area and accredited to do children’s work. This does not stop you finding your own solicitor, but remember, you do need a specialist.
The good news is that there is automatic legal aid for this sort of meeting. Your solicitor will be able to meet with you, and attend the meeting and you will not have to pay. If the solicitor who you contact cannot offer legal aid, then they are not the right solicitor. All solicitors who deal with social services have to be able to offer legal aid.
If you get a letter from your social worker that tells you that you need a solicitor to come to a meeting about your children, then it is important that you urgently act and phone a solicitor on the list or find your own accredited solicitor.
If you have received a PLO letter and would like advice in regards to what will happen in your case please contact me directly. I am an accredited solicitor and have extensive experience helping parents through this difficult time.