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Private Law Practice: The Manchester Team Approach. Chris Judge, Shabana Jamal, Deborah McCallum, Eilish Mullooly & Angela Rumble.

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Presentation on theme: "Private Law Practice: The Manchester Team Approach. Chris Judge, Shabana Jamal, Deborah McCallum, Eilish Mullooly & Angela Rumble."— Presentation transcript:

1 Private Law Practice: The Manchester Team Approach. Chris Judge, Shabana Jamal, Deborah McCallum, Eilish Mullooly & Angela Rumble

2 Manchester Team Profile Head Of Service Maureen Lilley Service Managers Chris Judge Shabana Jamal Deborah McCallum Family Court Advisors 32 Family Support Worker 1 Area Covered Manchester & Salford

3 What we did and Why Between April –July 08 Manchester team had requests for 123 S7 reports.In the period between June and July 08 there were around 67 Private Law cases awaiting allocation. 29 of these cases had less than 10 weeks before filing date.We were very concerned that there were children waiting to receive a service and that there may be safeguarding issues on some of these cases, as no other agency was involved. In an effort to address the backlogs and undertake some initial assessment of work,every FCA was allocated one of these at the same time. This reduced the backlogs significantly. We then continued to allocate private law cases to the FCA’s which had a longer time period before the filing date.

4 Report Generated on 02-Oct-2008 Reports received in Period 01-Apr-2008 to 31-Jul-2008 All Application Types * Click on the Month for further case info * 34 Apr May Jun Jul-2008 Total for Period: 123

5 Impact on Practice. In order to deal more effectively with these cases the FCA’s were encouraged to undertake an Initial assessment in 4-6 weeks. This would include an assessment of any risk to the child or wider safeguarding issues, as well as an assessment of what if any work needed to be undertaken to progress the case. An initial report with the assessment and a work plan, identifying an appropriate resource and time scales was filed with the court at the six week stage. The court was then able to consider re timetabling of any directions hearing or final hearing.

6 How Practice Has Now Changed The approach taken on these cases proved to be very effective in - early identification of critical issues - solution focussed practice - Shorter more analytical reports to the court with clear recommendations - Better outcomes for children & families The positive feedback and outcomes of this approach with these cases has led us to adopt this practice in all our Private Law Cases.

7 Advantages  Keeps child centre stage  Avoids delay in families receiving a service  Optimises court time  Information available for the courts and Cafcass at early stage of the proceedings  Focused shorter analytical reports, less reports per case and fewer directions hearings  Signposting to appropriate resources and services e.g Cafcass FSW, Pro Contact, Marietta House etc  Earlier identification of 9.5 and FAO cases  Quicker throughput and resolution of cases

8 Practitioner’s Perspective & Work With Children FCA Earlier involvement in the case makes for better working relationships with parties and children Early identification of issues leads to more appropriate time scales for any necessary work to be undertaken and completed Enables practioner to make clearer recommendations based upon best outcomes for the children

9 Practitioner’s Perspective & Work With Children FSW

10 The Future So…… to sum up Private Law Practice in Manchester is developing in line with the Private Law Pathway Model, the difference being at present it is post Dispute Resolution. This has been and continues to be a change in practice for all involved in court proceedings. So far we believe that it has been very positive for all concerned and we hope that this will continue.


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