A new approach to care proceedings

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A new approach to care proceedings, introduced in April 2008 with revised Children Act 1989 Guidance Volume 1 and the Public Law Outline (PLO), a procedural guide for the courts adds a semi-formal pre-proceedings stage. This paper critiques the aims and objectives of the pre-proceedings process in the light of what is known about the families who become subject to care proceedings. Drawing on the Care Profiling Study, the analysis of a random sample of 386 court files for care proceedings brought in 2004 and the Ministry of Justice’s preliminary study of the operation of care proceedings under the PLO, it questions whether formalising communication between the local authority and the parents immediately before proceedings can produce the intended benefits of diverting cases from the courts and improving the preparation of court applications. It considers how the new processes fit with existing safeguarding and planning procedures, the impact on workers and families and whether the procedures will help produce good, long-term arrangements for children at risk of significant harm more quickly.
Translated title of the contributionA new approach to care proceedings
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369 - 379
Number of pages11
JournalChild and Family Social Work
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

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