Expert Evidence in Children Act Proceedings: Improving Practice and Increasing Child Focus

06 MAR 2006

Mike Hinchcliffe, Deputy Director CAFCASS Legal and Elizabeth Hall, CAFCASS Manager, North East Region. The article looks mainly at the role of experts in care order applications. The authors look in some detail at possible ideas for change that aim to improve the provision of expert evidence for the family courts and to improve outcomes for children and families. In particular, the authors advocate the development of a relatively standard multi-disciplinary team assessment model. Although both authors have both spent time seconded to the Department for Constitutional Affairs/Department for Education and Skills Child Care Proceedings Review, the views expressed are the authors own and do not represent either the position of the review or of CAFCASS.

Robin Powell's article at March [2006] Fam Law 213 set out the dilemmas around the use of experts from the perspective of the parents, stressing the right of all family members to enjoy a family life. In this article, the authors seek to take the debate a little further, in particular from the perspective of the child or young person. See April [2006] Fam Law 288 for the full article.

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