Exploring the use of expert assessments in courts within the context of SWIFT provision of those reports: project update

At our recent research minded event we heard from Anna Wilson, Operations Manager in SWIFT, in ESCC, whose project is looking at the provision of expert assessments by SWIFT (specialist family services) within the pre-proceedings and proceedings process. Anna commented: “There’s currently no feedback loop between ourselves, the judiciary and Cafcass so I wanted to find out what learning there might be about how we provide assessments and whether this learning could also help think about what might make court processes work better.

The aims of the research are:

  • What difference does SWIFT assessment make to decision making within the MBA process?
  • What difference does SWIFT assessment make to the progress of care applications made?
  • Do the SWIFT assessment outcomes completed in pre-proceedings as part of the MBA process reflect the ultimate outcome of care proceedings?
  • What are the implications for social work practice?

It’s still a work in progress and I’m finding getting interviews with the judiciary (due to the extensive governance arrangements)  and Cafcass (who I am struggling to get a response from) quite challenging.

There is very little other research and the difficulty is that how proceedings run are culturally different geographically.”