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About this book

How do you apply the principles, structures and processes of the law to everyday practice? Drawing on a wealth of contemporary case examples, this handy pocket book demystifies the legislation on child protection and demonstrates the practical duties and responsibilities of professionals working within this complex area.

Table of Contents


At a Glance this Chapter Covers:
  • historical overview of child care law
  • the current child protection system
  • reforms
Kim Holt

1. Child Care Law and Practice

At a Glance this Chapter Covers:
  • Children Act 1989
  • principles of the Act
  • duty to investigate
  • rights of the child
  • human rights
  • current policy and practice
Kim Holt

2. Decision-Making, Assessment and Working With Others

At A Glance this Chapter Covers:
  • the child’s voice
  • referrals
  • assessment
  • home visits
  • Local Safeguarding Children Boards
  • child deaths
  • serious case reviews and learning lessons
  • working with others
Kim Holt

3. Emergency Applications/Short-Term Measures

At a Glance this Chapter Covers:
  • political climate
  • emergency applications
  • alternative ways of handling an emergency
Kim Holt

4. Care and Supervision

At a Glance this Chapter Covers:
  • threshold criteria
  • care orders
  • supervision orders
  • care planning
  • statutory reviews
  • contact
Kim Holt

5. Policies, Protocols and Procedures: a Way Forward Post-Munro

At a Glance this Chapter Covers:
  • a way forward post-Munro
  • the historical development of judicial protocols
  • the Public Law Outline and pre-proceedings protocols
  • decision-making
Kim Holt

6. Preparing to Go to Court

At a Glance this Chapter Covers:
  • report-writing/statements
  • giving evidence in court
  • use of experts
  • children in court
  • the role of Cafcass
  • professional advocacy for parents
Kim Holt

7. Concluding Comments

There is no doubt that the direction of travel set in train by the Family Justice Review and the Children and Families Bill is not readily reversible (Broadhurst et al., 2013). This shifts the burden of parenting assessment to the administrative space of pre-court social work (Holt et al., 2013). Increasingly, flexibility is being introduced within the formal pre-proceedings stage where parents have been put on notice of the local authority’s intention to issue care proceedings. The pre-proceedings stage may be the most appropriate location to build in flexibility, but this is not without consequences as it may result in delay being introduced at an earlier stage without judicial oversight and scrutiny (Holt et al., 2013).
Kim Holt
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