Aspirational Acronyms

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing a document entitled “Guidance to LFJBs on Quarterly Performance Reporting Template”. It’s a crackin’ read I can tell y’all.

So: Local Family Justice Boards have to report quarterly on their performance. And of course, as is the rage these days, they must do so by means of a template. And it’s a template that they need some guidance to conquer…

Yes, you’ve guessed it. This is about statistics. Damned statistics. I have to keep checking that the paramountcy principle hasn’t been sneakily amended on 22 April to provide that “statistical performance shall be the court’s paramount consideration” (It hasn’t).

Anyway, the LFJB has to report against KPMs and has to escalate issues of concern to the PISG and FJB. So that’s the Local Family Justice Board, Key Performance Measures and Family Justice Board. I have no clue what a PISG is but I like to think it is a typographical error for PIGS and that all DFJs (sorry, Designated Family Judges) are supposed to self-report to the Rozzers if their stats go a bit wonky.

Anyway, childish jokes aside – this is the interesting bit:

KPM 1 “For 2014-15, the Family Justice Board have agreed that the level of ambition for each LFJB for this KPM is that the average duration of s31 care or supervision cases should be within 26 – 30 weeks (averaged over the year).”

KPM 2 “For 2014-15, the Family Justice Board have agreed that the level of ambition for each LFJB for this KPM is that 60% – 70% of section 31 cases (averaged over the year) should be completed within 26 weeks.”

Yeah.

Read that again.

And again.

The level of ambition for 26 weeks is 60-70% of cases on average.

Basically, we’re sort of banking on 30-40% of ’em going long?

Too damned right 26 weeks ain’t a straightjacket. Padded cell anyone?

PS If anyone can help me get my head around how you square KPM 1 with KPM 2 I’d be most grateful. I don’t think they are inherently inconsistent but what do they tell us about the aspirational distribution of short cases, 26 wk cases and long cases?

2 thoughts on “Aspirational Acronyms

  1. Robert Whiston.

    Don’t decry statistics. I love them as they don’t allow slippery eels to escape scrutiony.
    As for “For 2014-15, the Family Justice Board have agreed that the level of ambition for each LFJB for this KPM is that the average duration of s31 . . . ” I would love to explain it to you but Google can’t find it. So, ‘sorry’ this time.
    I do hope aftyer all the tussle about the 2014 Act that we don’t have a re-run of the ‘shared residence’ directive of 1991, from the Dept of Health explaining that shared custody was to be viewed as ‘the exception’ and not the rule.

  2. I will have a try. The stats recorded for duration of care proceedings involve one number for each child (not each case). So, if you have a case with four children that ends at week 28, that goes down as four lots of 28. If a case with one child that ends at week 22, that goes down as one lot of 22.

    KPM 1 means, take the numbers for ALL of the children whose cases finished, divide by the number of children and we want that number to be between 26 and 30 (i.e the cases that finish within 26 weeks will hopefully balance out the ones that went over – although in reality it is cases with more children in them that tend to take longer)

    KPM 2 means take the total number of CHILDREN and look at how many went under 26 weeks , and we want that to be 60-70%. (i.e we are intensely relaxed about 30-40% going longer than that)

    What you MIGHT be subliminally picking up here is that a Judge gets into more trouble with the stats when they adjourn a case beyond 26 weeks with 3 children than they would by adjourning a case beyond 26 weeks with 1 child.

    You could hit KPM1, even though 30-40% of cases go long, if the ones that go short, go short enough. (i.e every case that cracks at IRH is basically six weeks under par, so for each of those, you could have 2 others that go 29 weeks and still be good for your averages).

    As long as the ones that go long aren’t having to be counted multiple times because the stats count CHILDREN not CASES.

    [That’s my take on it anyway, frankly, who knows? But it is a very strange take on the wording of the actual Act itself]

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