Nuffield Family Justice Observatory to consult on use of supervision orders in care proceedings

The Nuffield Family Justice Observatory (FJO) has launched a consultation seeking views about supervision orders and their use in care proceedings.

The FJO said that the survey relates to those cases where a stand-alone supervision order was made in relation to at least one of the children involved in the proceedings ("in other words the supervision order was not attached to another order such as a Child Arrangements Order or an SGO").

It wants to hear from parents, family members and professionals who have been involved in care proceedings in the last six years where a supervision order was made.

The survey will be open for three weeks until 8 March 2021. It can be accessed here. The survey has a number of different sections for completion by different groups of professionals, and for parents and family members. The survey will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete.

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The FJO noted that the Public Law Working Group is undertaking a wholesale review of supervision orders at the request of the President of the Family Division to consider whether they may be made a more effective and robust order.

The sub-group is being led by Mr Justice Keehan and Professor Judith Harwin of the University of Lancaster.

The FJO said recent national research by Professor Harwin and colleagues at the university had raised some queries about the usefulness of supervision orders, as well as demonstrating the wide variation in practice across courts in relation to the making of such orders and across local authorities in relation to their implementation.

In addition to the survey, researchers at the University of Lancaster will be conducting focus groups and interviews with parents.

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