The reforms to care proceedings – one step forward and two steps back? A critical evaluation of the new legal framework and its impact on the pre-proceedings stage

FAUSET, Daniel (2020). The reforms to care proceedings – one step forward and two steps back? A critical evaluation of the new legal framework and its impact on the pre-proceedings stage. Child and Family Law Quarterly, 32 (1).

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    Abstract

    The family justice system in England and Wales has undergone a process of considerable reform in recent years, particularly in the area of care proceedings. Following the Family Justice Review the government introduced strict time limits to the duration of proceedings and also made changes to other elements such as limiting the use of experts, revising the Public Law Outline and developing statutory guidance for work undertaken prior to proceedings. The implementation of these changes has had mixed results. But what specific impact have the reforms had on the period prior to proceedings and how has this affected the main parties involved, namely local authorities, parents and children? In the last few years a range of studies have been undertaken to assess this impact involving government departments, academics, practitioners and families, including the Care Crisis Review. Drawing principally on this academic research along with other evidence, this article critically evaluates the impact of the reforms of the pre-proceedings landscape to determine their effectiveness. Ultimately, whilst the reforms are to be welcomed in some areas and provide certainty in process, they also risk shifting the focus away from working with families and avoiding court, to one of evidence gathering and ensuring that care applications are robust once proceedings are issued.

    Item Type: Article
    Uncontrolled Keywords: 1801 Law
    SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
    Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
    Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2020 11:04
    Last Modified: 20 Jul 2020 15:45
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/25790

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