Source: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary | Family Justice Council Originally published: 20th March 2019.
The Family Justice Council conference and Bridget Lindley Memorial Lecture took place on 12 March 2019. Attendance was by invitation only and the audience comprised a range of stakeholders working in, or with an interest in, the family justice system. Hosted by the President of the Family Division, the conference examined the current threshold for state intervention, following 30 years of the Children Act.
This year’s lecture was given by Isabelle Trowler, Chief Social Worker for Families and Children. Well worth reading the transcript: THE THIRD BRIDGET LINDLEY ANNUAL MEMORIAL LECTURE – ISABELLE TROWLER Chief Social Worker for Children and Families “Care Proceedings in England: the Case for Clear Blue Water”
[…] are we asking the impossible of parents? We have an incredibly strong child focus and that is laudable – and that is something that we do not want to change – but in doing so have we made, inadvertently, the family the enemy? We have a multitude of professionals looking out for the rights of a child we have the local authority social worker and their supervisor and their manager, and then there is the foster carer, for example, and their supervising social worker and of course their manager. There is the independent reviewing officer and of course their manager. Then once we hit the court arena, we have the children’s guardian and then their supervisor and the entire hierarchy of Cafcass. That is a lot of people looking out for the child. Maybe as it should be. But is it fair? We are asking parents, often powerless anyway, often frightened and furious, to stand up to everyone else. This feels uncomfortable.
– Isabelle Trowler
The conference also heard presentations from the following range of speakers. Well worth making the time to read all of these:
- Professor Karen Broadhurst- download: ‘Newborn babies in care proceedings in England. Thresholds, questions and concerns’
- Professor Kate Morris – download: ‘Reimagining child protection: thinking differently about families, communities and thresholds’
- Angela Frazer-Wicks – download: ‘The Perspective of a Birth Mum’
- Stuart Gallimore (President ADCS) – download: ‘Pressures in children’s services and what’s driving increased demand’
- Amy Summerfield – download: ‘The Public Law Applications to Orders (PLATO) tool’