The new online service to process care and supervision applications will resume its national roll out from 14 September 2020.
The service allows local authorities and legal representatives to create and manage care and supervision applications under Part 4 of the Children Act 1989, or an Emergency Protection Order under section 44 of the Children Act 1989 online. It was paused in March due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Since then, the project team has been improving performance of the service in time for national roll out, which will follow a phased approach with an initial 8 court sites with others to follow.
The new service will improve the progression of cases to support the best outcome for the most vulnerable children by:
- allowing local authorities to create new digital applications for care supervision and Emergency Protection Orders
- enabling cases to be progressed by the court, legal professionals, local authorities and judiciary in a timely manner
- giving legal professionals, including parents’ solicitors and Cafcass the ability to access cases digitally and view tasks that need to be completed before a hearing
- allowing court users to see the status of their case and to progress it online
- enabling court users to upload and access documents and evidence digitally
- enables documents and evidence to be added to case and court bundles which can be uploaded, annotated, presented in court and used in the hearings.
Family Public Law will transition into Court and Tribunal Service Centres as the roll out progresses. This means support for some administrative tasks relating to case management will move to a central function. Local courts will continue to carry out tasks such as listing and will also continue to support the offline process as they currently do now.
For more information about the family courts read the latest blog by Adam Lennon – Responding to a global pandemic within the family courts.
More information on Justice Reform and Family Public Law
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