Care Proceedings: Outcomes for children

snappa-1446843747Research funded by the Department of Health ‘What Happened Next’ (2014) has examined decision-making for children in care proceedings and has found that:

  • Decisions made in care proceedings can contribute to reducing the odds of poor developmental outcomes for ‘maltreated’ (sic) children.
  • Substitute families and apparent changes in birth families were associated with improvements in the children’s relationships and adaptation.
  • After care proceedings, children remain exceptionally vulnerable due to the impact of early harm and their complex attachment histories.
  • Problems in emotional regulation and with learning persist and are not significantly reduced by changes in caregiving environment.
  • Most children continue to experience difficulties, particularly in relation to their ability to tolerate frustration and control impulses, and in coping with stressful events.
  • Insufficient investment in children from relevant services following proceedings.
  • Need for support and services to become systematically more remedial and therapeutic in practice.

The research is worth reading in full. Reference: Mulcahy, G., Badger, J., Wright, H., & Erskine, C. (2014). ‘What happened next’: a study of outcomes for maltreated children following care proceedings. Adoption & Fostering38(4), 314-330.

Good practice guidance for IROs, social workers and Cafcass practitioners already exists. 

Download at source: Good Practice Guidance for Social Work practised in the Family Courts

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