Major reforms to care proceedings were introduced in 2013, to reduce the usual duration to 26 weeks. What has been the result of these changes, in terms of the process of care proceedings, the orders made and the longer-term outcomes for the children?
The researchers, from the Universities of Bristol and East Anglia, gathered information on proceedings brought by six local authorities (five in England and one in Wales) from two periods, before and after the changes (2009-10 and 2014-15). They looked at court records, local authority case files, and administrative data on children in need and children looked after by the local authorities. This makes it possible to compare proceedings and orders under the two regimes, and to examine what happened to the children subsequently.
This conference will provide an opportunity to hear and discuss the findings from this important study. It will focus on the messages for local authorities, how policy and practice can be developed to promote the well-being of the children.
Project team: Prof Judith Masson, Dr Ludivine Garside, Kay Bader (University of Bristol), Prof Jonathan Dickens and Julie Young (University of East Anglia).