Section 37 Investigations
What is a Section 37 investigation?
A Section 37 investigation is an enquiry in to a child’s circumstances by a Social Worker.
When is a Section 37 investigation necessary?
If the Court has cause to feel concern for the welfare of a child during the course of proceedings in a private law application then it can ask an Independent Social Worker to conduct a Section 37 investigation. The information gathered during the Section 37 investigation will assist in the decision making and care planning for a child, determining whether a child needs to be made subject to a Care or Supervision Order in accordance with The Children Act 1989 significant harm criteria.
What is the process?
An Avocet Independent Social Worker should receive a copy of the Court Order outlining the work that needs to be undertaken. Avocet will make contact with the parents of the child and arrange to meet with and interview them. The child will be seen alone, where age appropriate and their wishes and feelings ascertained. The Independent Social Worker will contact all the professionals involved in working with the family and will ask them to provide information about the family for the purpose of informing the Court.
Avocet will complete the investigation and ensure the written Section 37 investigation report is ready for filing in the timeframe stipulated in the Court Order – usually 8 weeks.
Court must be informed “immediately” in the event of any non-compliance. In Re W (Children) EWFC 22, the President has reminded practitioners that parties in cases in the Family Court are not permitted to amend a timetable fixed by the court without the prior approval of the court. In that case, in breach of a case […]... read more
Cartoon by Fran as published in Community Care e-bulletin this week.... read more
Current child neglect laws have been criticised for focusing on the physical effects of abuse only. Ofsted finds child-neglect failings One in 10 UK children ‘neglected’ Bid to change child neglect laws The government is “seriously” considering introducing a new offence of emotional cruelty to children, the BBC understands. The proposed change to neglect laws […]... read more