Family Law Awards 2020
Shortlist announced - time to place your vote!
Court of Protection Practice 2020
'Court of Protection Practice goes from strength to strength, having...
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance Tenth Edition
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance is an authoritative specialist text...
Latest articles
Practical aspects to assessing competence in children
Rebecca Stevens, Partner, Royds Withy KingThis is an article regarding the practical aspects to assessing competence in children. The article explores a range of practicalities, such as meeting a...
Scrumping the crop of recent pension decisions
Rhys Taylor, 36 Family and 30 Park PlaceJonathan Galbraith, Mathieson Consulting2020 has thus far proved to be a memorable year for all the wrong reasons, but nonetheless it remains an interesting one...
Conduct in financial remedies – when is it now a relevant consideration?
Rachel Gillman, 1 GC/Family LawThis article provides an overview of all aspects of financial misconduct following the recent decision of Mostyn J in OG v AG [2020] EWFC 52, wherein all aspects of...
The treatment of RSUs/Stock Options in light of XW v XH
Peter Mitchell QC, 29 Bedford RowStock Options and Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) are frequently encountered by the Family Court when dividing property on divorce or dissolution of a Civil Partnership....
Hundreds of thousands of companies worldwide fall victims to hackers every year. Is your firm one of them?
SPONSORED CONTENT Image source: Information is beautifulYou and other lawyers and legal assistants in your firm likely have accounts on the hacked websites listed in the image above. If a hacker...
View all articles

Pilot project reduces duration of care proceedings to 27 weeks

Sep 29, 2018, 21:13 PM
A pilot project to reduce unnecessary delay for children undergoing care proceedings has been largely successful.
Slug : Pilot-project-reduces-care-proceedings-27-weeks-110913-086
Meta Title : Pilot project reduces duration of care proceedings to 27 weeks
Meta Keywords :
Canonical URL :
Trending Article : No
Prioritise In Trending Articles : No
Date : Sep 11, 2013, 04:45 AM
Article ID : 103511

care blocks smallA pilot project to reduce unnecessary delay for children undergoing care proceedings has been largely successful.

The Care Proceedings Pilot project was carried out jointly between three London boroughs: Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013 and covered 90 cases. It aimed to reduce delay in care proceedings in line with the current drive to reduce timescales for children subject to care proceedings down to 26 weeks.

The median duration of care proceedings in the first 9 months of the pilot was 27 weeks, compared to a median duration of 49 weeks for cases in the previous year in the same London boroughs. Excluding FDAC cases, the median duration was 26 weeks. In 48% of cases in the pilot, proceedings were concluded in 26 weeks or less.

Court hearings were also reduced by 24% under the project, from a mean number of 5.2 hearings in the previous year to 3.9 hearings in 2012/13. There was no evidence to show that the reduction in duration of proceedings had led to more delay in the pre-proceedings stage.

Some factors stood out as being important to the success of the pilot. The role of the case manager, and the commitment and leadership of all agencies were vital, as was robust court management by judges and magistrates. Dedicated court time, and the availability of guardians at the initial hearing were also important.

In terms of costs, there was strong evidence to show that the pilot reduced local authorities' legal costs by reducing the number of hearings and assessments and the overall length of proceedings.

In the full evaluation of the pilot, carried out by the Centre for Research on Children and Families at the University of East Anglia, it was noted that court timetabling problems and non-availability of guardians could both hold things up in future if numbers of proceedings increased. Family solicitors involved in the project also expressed concerns about whether the courts could accommodate the 26-week timeframe in a climate where the MoJ is trying to make savings in terms of judicial sittings and the appointment of full-time judges.

As part of the evaluation, the potential implications of the reduction in the duration of proceedings on justice and thoroughness were analysed.

Whether the success of the pilot might be sustainable in the long term, and outside of the Triborough area, was the question leading on from the results. It was felt that commitment to and enthusiasm for the process was a strong influence on the success of the scheme. Social workers, guardians, family lawyers and judges involved in the pilot project were all motivated by a desire to improve timescales for children but some wondered whether it would be possible to sustain this momentum on a wider scale, and whether the Triborough pilot, covering a relatively wealthy area, might be a special case.

One of the judges who was involved in the project said:

"I think that you could probably say that the sustainability of it has been greatly enhanced by the fact that the Family Justice Review recommended that all cases should complete within 26 weeks and that is going to be enshrined in legislation, and that the President is to focus on driving this through and that has given it really such a boost, that it makes it much more likely that it will be sustained than if it had just remained these three boroughs who were then going to try and continue to work at that level ... But I think these three boroughs particularly, given the support that it has had from Andrew Christie who is Director of Children's Services across the three boroughs, plus the appointment of Clare Chamberlain now as the Children and Families Assistant Director for Kensington and Chelsea, given that she was the project director ... probably there will be quite an incentive to keep that up and to demonstrate that it wasn't a nine day wonder."

Categories :
  • News
Tags :
Provider :
Product Bucket :
Recommend These Products
Load more comments
Comment by from