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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

11 MAR 2008

Care Profiling Study published

The Ministry of Justice has published the findings of the Care Profiling Study carried out by Professor Judith Masson and a team from Bristol. The research was undertaken to provide 'baseline data' on the current operation of care proceedings so that comparisons can be made with the new regime under the PLO. The researchers analysed 386 cases started in 2004 and drawn from both the FPCs and Care Centres. They concentrated on assessing the following information:

  • the family circumstances of the children and parents who were drawn into care proceedings;
  • the work which the local authority had done with the family before proceedings were started, and subsequently;
  • the legal processes through which cases were decided, including the representation of the parties, the work of the children's guardian, the commissioning of expert evidence; and
  • the outcome of cases in terms of orders made.

Their findings are set out in a thorough set of tables appended to the written report detailing, among others, the complexity of cases, factors causing delays and the number of experts involved in cases. As such it represents an exhaustive survey of how care proceedings cases have been handled in recent years. Overall it was found that 173 (45%) of the cases studied had been completed within the 40 week target set by the Protocol.

The full text of the report can be found on the Ministry of Justice website: http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/research030308.htm

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