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Wider review - but is it wide enough

The government are now widening up the review post Baby P. I am, however, not certain that this is wide enough. Unless they review the procedures of the Family Courts they will not get the system to work properly.

The problem is that the system is chocabloc with conflicts of interests. The rules that prevent people from getting second expert opinions act as a factory for miscarriages of justice.

It also creates an environment in which the whip hand is held by the local authority legal department. Some parents's solicitors then end up doing the bidding of the LA rather than their client.

The same pressures exist with Cafcass.

The social workers justify their actions on the basis that the court accepts the proposals. "Advocating for the child" includes pressurising experts to change their reports to suit the LA. That means that the whole decision-making process is driven by management decisions within the LA.

This doesn't always happen and it remains possible for things to happen properly. However, it happens enough to cause problems.

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