Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Transparent Family Courts

As of 1st April 2010 there are big changes in the reporting of what happens in family courts. This greater degree of openness is welcome. Contrary to the fears of most social work professionals this I believe will improve the outcomes for children.
A similar debate is going on in relation to child care issues in local authorities. In the aftermath of baby P and the arguments about whether the full 'serious incident report' should be published many of us became aware for the first time that the synopsis of those reports were public documents. The only problem was that they were hidden away on undiscovered bits of cyber space.
Now I'm not suggested they should be delivered to every household with a FOCUS but if we are to learn lessons we need to know the issues.
Birmingham City Council have decided to publish in full the reports and Lynne Featherstone has campaigned to have the 'Baby P' report released in full. The Tory spokesman Michael Gove has also backed that call.
This is a decision that every Council is now going to have to look at. There are lots of vested interests here. There will be lots of pressure not to let these thing be talked about. You can hear the excuses; not good for our reputation, undermine staff morale......