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The course is designed for ASYE / newly qualified Children Act Social Workers to assist you in the understanding of the Family Justice System and to prepare you for attending Court in support of your care plan. It contains in-depth descriptions and definitions of the proceedings and individuals involved in the family court alongside their roles and the Public Law Outline. The aim is to explain what is required to produce quality social work evidence based upon SWET’s, to identify appropriate care plans and determine which orders are required and to persuasively present your evidence to the Court.

Who is An Introduction To Court Skills aimed at?

ASYE's and those new to practice and court

Course Length

1 day

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course delegates will have:- 

  • A brief overview of the family justice system and Court Tiers
  • Descriptions of the role of officials involved in a court case, such as judges, magistrates, clerks lawyers CAFCASS Guardians and others
  • Representation of the child and understanding how best to work with CAFCASS Guardians
  • Key provisions of the Children Act 1989, (for example the burden and standards of proof, the , s.31 threshold criteria,  significant harm, the welfare checklist and avoidance of delay criteria), the Adoption and Children Act 2002 and the Human Rights Act 1998..
  • A summary of the orders made in public law and private law proceedings  (Children Act and Adoption and Children Act), the effect of such orders.
  • The use of s.20 placements.
  • The Public Law Outline, the various stages to the proceedings and types of hearing.
  • Making Every Hearing Count: the expectations on all professionals working within the PLO.
  • Evidence; gathering evidence for court. Rules as to admissibility, relevance and weight, hearsay, fact and opinion.
  • Types of evidence including medical evidence  and independent expert evidence and the test in applying for experts. 
  • Social Work evidence (Chronologies, statements, care plans) and what constitutes a  comprehensive statement.
  • How to present balanced SW evidence and weigh up realistic placement options (Re BS analysis) 
  • What happens at the first and last hearings? what are the possible outcomes?
  • How to prepare for appearing in court.
  • The hearing day and the procedure inside and outside Court.
  • Top tips for giving good quality evidence; avoiding pitfalls and how to successfully manage cross-examination.
  • Post hearing planning


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