Making Sense of Recent Court Judgements
Date: Friday 8 December, 2017
Time: 1.00pm - 5.00pm
Cost: £50.00 + VAT
Venue: Glasgow (to be confirmed)
Rhona Pollock, AFA Scotland
Claire Anne McFadde, JK Cameron Solicitors
This session will look at how local authorities can move forward in adapting practice and policy to make fit for court in adoption and permanence cases. This is an area where courts are demanding much more from local authorities and the landscape for those undertaking permanence and adoption work has become increasingly unfamiliar. Concern, criticism and expectations have been explicitly expressed in recent judgements, a few of which are quoted below:
“Social workers decide to go down one path and appear unwilling to keep under continual review the objective of preserving personal relations between parents and children”.
“Concerns were based to a significant extent on material about which the local authority had no direct knowledge…and on matters about which the evidence was, bluntly, insufficient, unsubstantiated and ultimately not relied upon”.
“The decision appears to have been made simply to move towards permanence…this was precipitate and unjustified”.
It will look at recent and established case law, legislation and the requirements placed on social workers and local authority solicitors when presenting PO, POA applications and in supporting direct petitions. This will be done through the use of case scenarios, group working and plenary sessions to identify the problem areas in report writing, gathering information, presenting evidence and preparing for Court. The worker will be guided in demonstrating how their decisions, actions and practices are underpinned by legal authority.
The session will be run jointly by Rhona Pollock, AFA Scotland Legal Consultant, solicitor and former reporter to the children’s panel who has many years’ court experience and Claire Anne McFadden, partner with J K. Cameron Solicitors, Glasgow. Claire Anne has extensive and specialist knowledge of adoption proceedings having acted for adoptive parents in numerous applications and having represented local authorities throughout the country in Permanence applications.