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Legal Services - Joint Working Protocol

The Joint Working Protocol is the result of collaboration between the Legal Services Department and the Children, Young People and Families Directorate through an inter-departmental group. It was developed in full consultation with stakeholders, including the courts, judiciary, CAFCASS and solicitors in private practice and other neighbouring local authorities.

The Protocol is in three parts:-
  • Part 1 describes the specific relationship between the Legal Services Department and the Children, Young & Families Directorate.
  • Part 2 sets out the case planning and management protocol to be followed to compliance with the National Judicial Case Management Protocol in Public Law Children Act cases and, in line with that Protocol, reducing delay in these cases.
  • Part 3 is a series of appendices providing guidance on specific issues and formats for specific tasks.

Extensive training has been provided on the Protocol to in-house lawyers and partner lawyers, social workers and managers, with further training scheduled to take place.

The Joint Working Protocol is a controlled document and will undergo regular review and change. Some parts of the Protocol are still under development.

The Legal Services Department and the Children Young People & Families Directorate plan to monitor and evaluate the progress made under the Protocol in liaison with partner agencies, in particular the local courts and CAFCASS.