Comment on the Timeliness of Proceedings in the Family Court

Jenny Coles, Chair of the ADCS Families, Communities and Young People Policy Committee, said:

“These figures are testament to the hard work of local authorities and the courts. Since 2013 the average time taken to conclude care proceedings has reduced by almost 10 weeks, and although we are still slightly above the target some great progress has been made. However, this particular table reflects the national picture and some local areas are routinely achieving an average time of under 26 weeks. The reason the time taken to complete proceedings is reducing is that the whole system has worked together to deliver more timely justice for families. Local authorities are carrying out more effective pre-proceedings work; courts are using experts in a different way; and there is a growing emphasis, across the board, on problem-solving rather than being tied by rigid procedure. The specific initiatives being led by councils include Family Group Conferences whereby children and their families jointly find solutions to the issues they face and an increase in the use of concurrent planning. Ultimately, we must do what is in the best interest of each child; there will be some more complex cases in which it won’t be possible to meet the required timescales and it is important that all decisions are made to secure the very best outcomes for each child and young person even if this does result in further delays.”


Tags assigned to this article:

Related Articles