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Ally Tow
Ally Tow
Senior Associate
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DfE funds new website to support professionals working with young people
Date:24 JUL 2014
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Senior Editor
The Department for Education (DfE) has funded a new, free-to-access website to support professionals working with young people and families to understand and implement changes in practice required to meet the statutory requirements under the Court Orders and Pre-Proceedings Guidance 2014.

The procedures surrounding court orders and pre-proceedings have changed significantly. The Children and Families Act 2014 introduced a statutory time limit for care and supervision cases. New rules on commissioning expert evidence, and the Public Law Outline 2014, set out a streamlined process for management of public law cases. In response to these developments, there have been programmes of change in local authority children services across the country.

Dez Holmes, Director of Research in Practice, said, 'Many practitioners in this area have spoken to us about the need for clear and practical guidance, training and a calm steer as these changes take effect locally. They are asking for structured support with pre-proceedings work in particular, which is key to completing cases within 26 weeks.'

The website and the resources have been produced by Research in Practice, drawing on their experience of supporting a large network of local authorities in working with children and families. This online learning resource provides a clear summary of what the changes mean for the day-to-day work of professionals with families. They aim to support the sector through the dissemination of policy information, relevant high-quality research, and local practice examples. The website is structured with the child’s journey in mind - from initial identification of concerns for a child or young person, through pre-proceedings work with children and families, to the process of making an application to court.

The resources on the new website include:
  • summaries of the statutory requirements, highlighting key issues for practice;
  • videos in which social workers, young people, legal representatives, members or the judiciary, and policy leaders outline the context and content of the guidance;
  • links to key resources from practice and research; and
  • tools for testing knowledge and embedding learning.
Dez Holmes said, 'This online resource reflects the need in the sector for practical guidance and support in meeting the new statutory requirements. Practitioners and managers are keen not only to ensure that their practice complies with the new guidance, but also that they can access and apply relevant research in order to deliver the best possible service to children and young people within the family court system. This website will help address those aims, providing a range of varied resources that are useful to all who work in this area. I am delighted that Research in Practice has been at the forefront in delivering these.'

The website of resources is now available to access online at http://coppguidance.rip.org.uk/.
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