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Pan-Sussex Section 7 Template

Pan-Sussex Section 7 Template

The three Sussex local authorities (East, West and Brighton) and Cafcass have developed a Section 7 template to assist local social workers in producing an assessment in private law cases with high levels of parental conflict. It mirrors other forms used by Cafcass in an attempt to strengthen the professional legitimacy of the social worker in court proceedings. Joint research between Cafcass and Women’s Aid estimated that domestic abuse allegations are a feature in 62% of private law cases, and other risk factors are prevalent such as harmful conflict and parental alienation.

Social workers that have piloted the template liked the multi-agency approach and the clear guidance, while family courts have noticed an improvement in the quality of reports, that can lead to better outcomes for children. In sharing the template and practice guidance more widely it is hoped approaches across the sector will be harmonised and, crucially, standards will be raised leading to better outcomes for this vulnerable group of children.

View Section 7 Template Resource pack (pdf)

Download Section 7 template (.docx)

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