Social workers receive praise in new research

Children|September 24th 2014

Local authority social workers have been praised in new research by Cafcass.

The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service conducts annual research into care applications. The Service surveyed 300 children’s guardians over a three week period, polling their views on care applications filed by local authority social workers, under section 31 of the Children Act 1989.

This states that local authorities may apply for care and supervision orders if “the child concerned is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm”.

In a significant 84 per cent of cases, the guardians believed a care or supervision application was the only decision open to local authorities in the circumstances. The same percentage believed that the applications either entirely or partially met the necessary legal requirements.

More than half (54 per cent) of cases were filed at the correct time, the respondents believed.

Child neglect, meanwhile, was cited as the main trigger for care and supervision order applications.

The percentage of applications which the guardians thought had been filed later than ideal had also risen, by no less than 13 per cent, to 39 per cent of all cases. Different reasons for this rise were suggested, including the possibility that some local authorities were working with families who have multiple problems and so struggled to make progress.

Cafcass Chief Executive Anthony Douglas said:

“It is fantastic news that Guardians consider that, in general, local authorities are bringing the right cases to court, in a timely way and with the cases being well prepared, but it does not come as a surprise…We have to go on improving as one child poorly served by the family justice system is one child too many.”

Cafcass works to provides support services children caught up in family court proceedings.

Read the full research here.

Earlier this month, Cafcass revealed that it had received eight per cent more care applications during August than it had in the same month last year.

Photo by Daniel Horacio Agostini via Flickr 


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  1. Carol Bird says:

    Cafcass the independant organization that re-placed the Guardian-Ad-Litem, trusted organization that speaks for the child, the legallity of court evidence etc, etc, praising the Social Service Legal department, Why are all the independant Societies fighting against injustice, that have sprung up in the last few years, log jammed with complaining parents, WHO POLICES CAFCASS

  2. Dr. Nigel Miles says:

    In 2011-12, more than 1,000 general and 117 serious complaints were made against Social Services, including Children’s Services public servants. Not all are wonderful paragons of society; some unfailing perjured themselves in Court, pervert the Course of Justice and leave rheumatoid service under investigation for various reasons leaving the allowance of abuse to minor children to continue. This is just a tip of the iceberg. Across the UK 30 % of all minors are under permanent threat of abuse. Professionals who are aware of this are now charged with being abusers but those parents who hide behind closed doors are allowed to continue to destroy young children’s lives.

    When are we going to become responsible parents and enact responsible parity in parenting. It was to be included in the Children and Family Act (Private Law) but for political reasons our Coalition Government don’t believe in the best interests of children nor equality. Still there is an election in under two months let’s see if the 3.3 million voters who are alienated from this equality will vote for such responsible parit. Currently there is only one party in England and Wales in total support and enact fully such morality and hence legislation and they are the o lymphatic al leader who can shear sheep in her birth country, Australia. H’mm!

  3. Dr. Nigel Miles says:

    The statistics given in my above missive relate to Cornwall Council public servants.

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