Preparing for court? Check your balance sheet approach is robust with our free downloadable guide

Community Care Inform guide explains the dos and don’ts of balance-sheet evidence and how to comply with the Re B-S judgement

Photo: Marijus/Flickr

As part of our Stand up for Social Work campaign, we are making selected guides from Community Care Inform free for a limited period. Guide to the balance sheet approach ad Re B-S compliant evidence is now available.

What are the courts looking for in social work evidence for making care orders?

In the  Re B-S judgment, published two years ago, Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division said it was “time to call a halt” to “the recurrent inadequacy of analysis and reasoning’” put forward to support adoption and set out guidance for social workers and judges.

Last November, the National Adoption Leadership Board, published its ‘mythbuster’ document which clarified that Re B-S and Re B had not changed the legal test for adoption and aimed to explain how “assessing all realistic options” and “nothing else will do save adoption” should be interpreted.

However, in some cases judges are still criticising social workers for failing to robustly assess all evidence and prepare proper ‘balance sheets’ that analyse all options.

Community Care Inform’s Guide to the balance sheet approach, written by a family law barrister, explains the key points for social work practice from Re B-s, Re B and subsequent judgments that have further clarified the courts’ expectations.

A case study involving a family where interventions have failed to prevent ongoing domestic violence and alcohol abuse is used as an example to prepare balance-sheet evidence for four realistic placement options, with tips on what makes for high quality evidence.

Download your free copy here.

Community Care Inform children subscribers can access the online version and our full archive of case law summaries which highlight the key points to take into account for social work practice.

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