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The contribution of experts in care proceedings : evaluation of independent social work reports on care proceedings

Brophy, Julia and Owen, Charlie and Sidaway, Judith and Jhutti-Johal, Jagbir (2012) The contribution of experts in care proceedings : evaluation of independent social work reports on care proceedings. [Report]

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Abstract

Several concerns surround the use of independent social work (ISW) assessments in care proceedings. Some result from the exclusion of this work from a review of legal aid for expert assessments in this field, a cap on ISW fees, and fears about a resulting reduction in the availability of ISWs. At the same time, submissions to the Family Justice Review (FJR) claimed that ISWs cause delay, simply duplicate existing local authority assessments, add nothing new and undermine confidence in social work assessments. It was also said that ISW reports result from parents utilising human rights claims to gain a second opinion of a local authority assessment – and to which courts too readily accede. ... But while strong views have been expressed about the use of independent social work assessments, there is little hard evidence. This evaluation, commissioned following submissions to the FJR, begins to address that lack. It is based on 65 cases concerning 121 children and 82 reports for courts in England and Wales. The sample was drawn from the records of three independent agencies providing ISWs.

Item Type: Report
Controlled Keywords: Looked after children, Law
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > Thomas Coram Research Unit
Depositing User: Atira Pure
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2013 14:47
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 10:29
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