Get up to speed with the relaunched Public Law Outline

    Social workers can learn how to make best use of pre-proceedings and improve their understanding of what the courts expect in the revised PLO, in a forthcoming webinar, delivered by family lawyer Bruce Tregoning

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    The Public Law Outline was relaunched last year with the aim of cutting delays in the length of care proceedings to meet the statutory 26-week target, including by reducing the number and scope of hearings.

    A core part of the relaunch was ensuring that the pre-proceedings phase was used as effectively as possible in giving families the opportunity to stay together, underpinned by best practice guidance.

    To help social workers navigate their way through these changes, Community Care Inform Children is holding a webinar on the topic delivered by experienced family lawyer Bruce Tregoning.

    It will take place on 24 April 2014, from 12noon-1pm.

    During the session, which is free for Inform Children subscribers, Bruce will help you to understand:

    • Your priorities and responsibilities at each stage of the PLO, setting out the court’s expectations of social workers.
    • How to use assessments effectively to investigate concerns, formulate plans and encourage change within the family, and how these can support court evidence if necessary.

    Inform Children subscribers can secure their place by entering a promo code onto the online booking form.

    This should have been emailed to you but, if you have not received it, please email ccinformhelpdesk@markallengroup.com for the code.

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    2 Responses to Get up to speed with the relaunched Public Law Outline

    1. Pauline O'Reggio February 9, 2024 at 11:53 am #

      Having worked within child protection for 43 year the PLO process in my opinion if implemented correctly enables measured decision-making, and prevents knee-jerk reactions. Once legal proceedings are initiated emotions are high for families, they do not fully understand what this means and the serious implications.

      Social workers may have other case demands therefore clear focus is required after all the plans will be life-changing for the child and family.

      The PLO process allows families the chance to understand the concerns of the local authority and why this course of action is being taken, it allows families the chance to work within clear safety plans to enable change to take place and safeguards put in place for the child. The process indicates whether the parents can and are willing to make changes to safeguard the child, it also enables the social worker to complete accurate assessments to enable decision-making, less delay, and meaningful plans to protect the child. I have worked within the PLO process, in my opinion, it is a clearer process not only for the family but also for the social worker.

      Therefore social workers must have time to complete assessments that demonstrate a clear analysis of the information provided by the PLO process, social work assessments are evidence-based and should be taken seriously.

    2. Pauline O'Reggio February 22, 2024 at 3:38 pm #

      The Children Act requires Local authorities to work with Children and families to ensure children can remain within their cultural norms and family unit. However, due to child protection concerns, this may not always be possible and social workers must decide whether to apply to the courts to remove a child. Before doing so social workers must provide evidence that they have taken into account all aspects for safeguarding that child. This is done via the welfare checklist which is part of the care plan presented to the courts in care proceedings.

      The PLO process has always been active before initiating care proceedings although, under different headings, it is not a new process. However, it gives more control, clarity, direction, and focus on particular issues of concern and how they will be addressed not only by the parents, and social work team but also by other professionals. Safety plans and care plans include all professionals involved in the child’s life, all of whom contribute different skills, and knowledge.

      The PLO process can identify what services are in place to support and protect the child, if the plans are not working these will be identified sooner and addressed. The PLO process also allows the local authority to access much-needed services on a speeder basis than if requested through case planning procedures. Some outside professionals will not engage directly with the social worker, however, will if requested by a legal representative of the local authority.

      PLO meetings are held regularly and are time-limited to ensure the plan is working, if not why not? This requires all agencies not just the social worker to work on the progress of the plan. If no progression is identified the decision would be made whether to initiate proceedings having demonstrated that the child and family’s individual needs had been addressed however the child remains at risk.

      These are my experiences.

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