DfE Piloting meetings between social workers and Cafcass Guardians ahead of pre-proceedings

The Department of Education are commissioning a pilot, with Research in Practice to work with 25 local authorities and children’s trusts and their local Cafcass partners, with support from local and national staff in His Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) to deliver a scoping pilot commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE).

The pilot introduces an information-sharing meeting between the child’s social worker and Cafcass Guardian involved in a child’s case, which will take place after the issuing of care proceedings but prior to the first Case Management Hearing (the pre-CMH meeting). The pilot runs for five months (August to December 2023) at which point the DfE will review and assess whether to extend the pilot more widely. As ever, Research in Practice will focus on:

·Bringing evidence-informed learning and development to the professionals involved in the pilot: through a series of online workshops, support sessions for participants and access to a suite of newly developed resources.

·Bringing professionals from across the country together to share practice expertise: a dedicated Microsoft Teams Channel provides a platform for peer-to-peer learning and supports us to feedback pilot participants’ experiences to the commissioner and other stakeholders.

·Ensuring that the views of children and families whose lives are the subject of these professional activities inform their work: colleagues at Family Rights Group will contribute to developing workshop content focused on how child and family perspectives are centred in the pre-CMH meetings.

For more information please click here and here.