Skip to main content

Curriculum guide for continuing professional development (CPD) on pre-proceedings and court-related skills in cases concerning the care and protection of children

In 2012, in the context of the family justice reforms, the Government committed to working with local authorities and other bodies to help strengthen social work practice prior to and during public law care and supervision cases. Its aim is to ensure speedier, more efficient cases that deliver better outcomes for children.

Every professional social worker involved in these proceedings requires a range of court skills which include good record-keeping skills; understanding the rules for oral and written evidence; producing statements, reports and care plans; and working with key professionals in the legal arena. Practitioners should also be aware of when to seek legal advice and be confident in making evidence-based decisions and in dealing with the aftermath and outcomes of court decisions. While social workers are involved in a diverse range of court proceedings and must be mindful of the interface between public and private law, the focus of this guide is on public law proceedings for children.

The core aim of this guide is to assist training providers in equipping social workers to play a full, timely and constructive part in care proceedings and the work that precedes care proceedings. It reflects the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) recognised stages of career progression: some baseline knowledge is assumed, and the guide builds on skills developed at qualifying level.