The Baby P Effect

An interesting article in the Independent about the so called ‘Baby P Effect’, particularly the stats showing an increase in applications this month compared to last November – considering the dip in the meanwhile apparently as a result of the increased fees this appears to be a direct result of an increase in defensive / protective practise as a result of the publicity surrounding Baby P. Anthony Douglass of CAFCASS correctly highlights the risk that as well as safeguarding children who may have otherwise slipped through the net or under the threshold, this may cause harm to families whose needs would better be met by support for family placement rather than hasty removal (there are also links to a range of articles relating to this topic on the CAFCASS website). Glad I’m not a social worker – they must feel like they can never get it right. Glad also I’m not a CAFCASS Officer – an upsurge in care applications issued in one month will mean increased pressure on CAFCASS Officers who are nominated Guardian’s for the children in question, probably with a knock-on effect on private law proceedings and delays in s7 reports.

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