Laming Report Published

Lord Laming’s Report in the wake of the Baby P tragedy was published this week. It can be found here. Of particular relevance to family lawyers Lord Laming recommends an urgent review of the £4,000 fees for the issue of care proceedings and that steps should be taken to reduce the average case length in care cases. Other recommendations include the proposal that all new social workers should have some hands on experience of working with children and families before being ‘let loose’ on a full caseload (I for one am shocked it possible for this to happen in the first place).

5 thoughts on “Laming Report Published

  1. […] (details of every child in the country and who is working with them – recently remarked upon by Lord Laming in his second report on child protection in the wake of Baby P as a database which ‘will have particular advantages in reducing the […]

  2. Regarding your comment that you are ‘shocked’; what is it you are shocked about? Exorbitant legal fees or social workers being ‘let loose’ (or both?)

    Steve

    • Shocked about social workers not getting enough hands on experience. I think it makes it really tough for social workers if they go into child protection work without hands on experience of working with children. I don’t know how often it happens but Laming suggests it does.

  3. Hi. I agree entirely. However, that issue is intricately connected to the broader issue of workload management generally and recruitment and retention and should I think be considered in that light. What about the suggestion in relation to the Baby P case (and others) that the costs of entering into legal proceedings to safeguard children might have contributed to delays/inaction? I feel that irrespective of costs, action should be taken, but is £4k not a little excessive?

    • Yes I see a lot of newish social workers struggling with difficult cases and large caseloads. The more experienced social workers are all either tied up ‘managing’ or have left / gone off sick. Morale is generally not very high (I generalise wildly of course). The £4k costs are CRAZY. On the ground it has been very easy to see the impact – an immediate and sharp drop in the issueing of applications, now bouncing back partly due to Baby P and partly because there was a lag with local authorities getting to grips with the frontloading inherent in the new system through the pre-action requirements. they are issueing regardless of fees now I think.

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