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Social Work Evidence Template (SWET)

Social Work Evidence Template (SWET) Updates

ADCS and Cafcass developed the Social Work Evidence Template (SWET) in 2014 to support social workers to submit clear, analytical material to the family courts. The SWET was refreshed in 2016 and again in 2020/21 in line with the recommendation made by the President of the Family Division’s Public Law Working Group (PLWG).

The PLWG recommended the SWET should bring greater focus to work carried out during pre-proceedings as well as clarity around the legal test for removal i.e. why now? This latest process has been informed by a public consultation, which received 170 responses, and overseen by a working group consisting of approximately 30 children’s services and LA legal representatives, plus judges and Cafcass staff.

The updated SWET, and an abridged statement for use in short notice hearings, are now available for use. In line with the feedback received, the new SWETs are available in Microsoft Word format and Research in Practice has also supported this work by bringing together a group of practitioners, lawyers, and judges to co-develop additional guidance.

Use of the SWET is down to local determination and it may be helpful to consider timelines for introduction and usage, perhaps on a phased basis. There is no expectation of immediate adoption or that duplicate work is created as a result of this updating of these resources.

In response to enquiries about adaptation a very minor update was made to both the suite of templates and accompanying guidance on 15 April confirming that LAs can add their logos to the templates and indeed are encouraged to. No other changes have been made at this time.

Social Work Evidence Template (SWET)

The original Social Work Evidence Template (SWET) was introduced in summer 2014 and subsequently updated in 2016 and 2021 with the aim of providing clear and analytical material to the courts. Its use has grown steadily and ADCS continues to encourage all local authorities to use the templates and to ensure their staff can access the associated training materials.

The SWET was designed to support a consistent, analytical approach to presenting social work evidence to the family courts whilst complementing other standardised forms required by the Public Law Outline.

Social Work Initial Evidence Template (revised April 2021)

Full Social Work Evidence Template (revised April 2021)

Social Work Evidence Template - Final Statement (revised April 2021)

SWET guidance (revised November 2023 to update links to the Cafcass website).

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