Child protection in court: outcomes for children: Executive Summary

Judith M Masson, Jonathan Dickens, Ludivine B E Garside, Kay F Bader, Julie Young

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The Outcomes of care proceedings for children before and after care proceedings reform Study (referred to as the Outcomes Study) examined the impact of the PLO reforms introduced in 2013-14, which aimed to speed up decision-making in care proceedings. The study examined the impact on the legal process and the outcomes for the children. It compared the process and the outcomes for two samples of children: S1 had proceedings in 2009-10, before the reforms, and S2, after, in 2014-15. Children’s outcomes after care proceedings were compared one year after the end of the proceedings, T1; outcomes for S1 were also examined and compared at T2, 5 years after the proceedings. The reforms and other relevant changes to law and social work between the two samples are discussed in Chapter 2. Further developments, which are relevant for the final discussion and recommendations, are brought together in Chapter 13. The theoretical background to examining social work with children and families, family support and state intervention, decision-making in court proceedings and the relationships between law and social work are explored in Chapter 4.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBristol
PublisherSchool of Law, University of Bristol
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2019


  • care proceedings reform reform
  • child protection social work
  • children's outcomes after care proceedings
  • mixed methods natural experiment
  • children's social care data linkage
  • Data linkage


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