Social workers are ‘marginalised’ in court

Children|February 16th 2017

Work conducted by social workers before cases reach court is frequently ignored, a council has claimed.

In a new report, Barking and Dagenham Council in East London claims reluctance to accept such work caused delays in care proceedings, blaming these for its failure to meet government-prescribed timetables.

The report declares:

“Work undertaken prior to a court hearing in line with good practice, that is, pre–proceedings work expected of social workers, [is] being marginalised by the court. The court then requests further assessments to be done – this is also costly as well as adding delay.”

Judges are too ready to order additional independent social work assessments, the council complains, if parents or lawyers question the pre-proceedings work carried by its own social workers.

According to a report on CommunityCare, the average time between a child entering the care system within the Borough and finding an adoptive family was 721 days: nearly 300 days more than the government’s timetable. The average time required to match a child with prospective adopters also exceeds the timetable: by no less than 188 days.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. Guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. keith says:

    this council states
    “Judges are too ready to order additional independent social work assessments, the council complains”.

    well i wonder why that might be!
    could it be because LA social workers case files cant be trusted a lot of the time.

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