Social Work Evidence Template (SWET)

NEW: SWET consultation (August - September 2020)

A review of the Social Work Evidence Template (or SWET), as well as the creation of a short SWET for use in urgent hearings, has recently been recommended by the President of the Family Division’s Public Law Working Group.

In recent weeks a small group of representatives from local authority social work and legal teams, Cafcass and the judiciary have shared experiences and views which have then fed into an updated version of the full SWET and the first draft of the proposed interim SWET.

Wider views about these two draft documents are now being sought:

The deadline for feedback has now passed (Friday 18 September) and feedback is being considered. Updates will be added here once available.

Thank you.


Social Work Evidence Template (SWET)

The original Social Work Evidence Template (SWET) was introduced in summer 2014 and subsequently updated in 2016 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.

A review of the template in 2015/16 demonstrated a high level of support for its use and generated a number of suggestions about further improvements, including:

  • The accompanying guidance being simplified and incorporated into the template
  • The templates themselves being simplified and the final analysis template now using the same headings as the basic template
  • The two relevant welfare checklists being incorporated for ease of reference.

The SWET continues to be endorsed by the President of The Family Division, as well as ADCS and Cafcass.

Social Work Evidence Template (revised June 2016)

Social Work Evidence Template - Final Statement (revised June 2016)

Additional supporting information and guidance on SWET is available on the Research in Practice website.



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