The Family Division of the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary is examining proposals to reform children cases in the Family Law Court.
The reform has been prompted by the rise in the number of public and private children cases in the Family Law Court, which has made meeting the statutory deadline for children cases difficult to meet. “Delays in decision making”, a note from the President of the Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, reads, “is likely to be contrary to a child’s best interests.”
The reform is aimed at either reducing the number of children cases, to enable the courts to deal with them more justly and efficiently or both.
The consultation has now closed. More information about the proposed reforms is available on the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary website.
some of the Core Recommendations include acknowledgement of the important role of iNDEPENDENT REVIEWING OFFICERS AND CONFERENCE CHAIRS
Local authority decision-making
1. To share good practice;
2. To promote a shift in culture to one of co-operation and respect that values and equally questions the contribution of all parties;
3. A renewed focus on pre-proceedings work and managing risk;
4. To develop more consideration of the factors relevant to good decision-making prior to legal gateway meetings;
5. Re-focusing of the role of local authority legal advisers and the use of the legal gateway meeting;
6. Develop and share good practice in driving positive challenge with the IRO / conference chair.
NIROMP Submission to Public Law Consultation
The National IRO Managers Partnership (NIROMP) welcomes this opportunity to respond to “Recommendations to achieve best practice in the child protection and family justice systems.”
Several of the report’s themes echo discussions that NIROMP are having at a local, regional and national level. Our Strategic Vision and Priorities (2019-22) document gives emphasis to areas of learning, the sharing of good practice, the use of strengths-based working and supporting the resilience of families and the workforce in these particularly challenging times.
We share concerns about the high numbers of children and families encountering the courts. We would like to see more work happening to support families earlier, a strengthening of pre-proceedings activities and a reinforcement of the ‘No Order Principle’, to avert the need for court involvement where this is both safe and possible.
Our networks operate across the nine government areas of England. We see through our networks that there are differences in the ways local authorities work with children and families across the country. We also see differences in the way that local authorities, the courts and Cafcass work with IROs and we would welcome more support to understand the reasons for and to address such variance. We would also welcome the opportunity for involvement in the Family Justice Council’s advisory bodies and boards.
NIROMP’s response to each of the questions listed in the consultation can be found on pages 2-14 of this document.– National IRO Managers Partnership
Please complete our brief (five minute) survey about how effectively the Cafcass and Independent Reviewing Officer Good Practice Protocol for Public Law Work is being implemented in your area: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/M5WVJ/
- MPs to hold a debate on the Independent review of children’s social careSource: UK Parliament Committees MPs to hold a debate on the Independent review of children’s social care On Thursday 24th November, MPs will … Continue reading MPs to hold a debate on the Independent review of children’s social care
- Supporting practice in tackling child sexual abuse film seriesSource: Centre of Expertise on Child Sexual Abuse, November 2022 Introducing our new 12-part short film series for professionals, by professionals. New film series … Continue reading Supporting practice in tackling child sexual abuse film series
- The Subjective Wellbeing of Children in Care of the StateSource: Wellbeing Research Centre, University of Oxford Published: November 2022 Research presentation by Professor Julie Selwyn (Oxford) and Linda Brikheim-Crookall (Coram Voice) delivered … Continue reading The Subjective Wellbeing of Children in Care of the State
- NIROMP COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE: MAKING IT HAPPENNIROMP’s Community of Practice sessions support arrangements for the continuing professional development of IROs and their managers. Venue: Each session will be held … Continue reading NIROMP COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE: MAKING IT HAPPEN
- Encouraging a diverse workforceIndependent reviewing officer / safeguarding & review lead An opportunity has arisen for two Safeguarding & Review Leads (37 hours and 18.5 hours). … Continue reading Encouraging a diverse workforce