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1.4.11 Children's Guardians

Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. The Rights of the Children’s Guardian


1. Introduction

  1. The Children’s Guardian will be an officer of CAFCASS appointed by the Court in any public law proceedings. The function of the Children’s Guardian is to safeguard and promote the interests of the child by providing independent social work investigation and advice to the courts in care, child protection, adoption and related court proceedings.
  2. Children’s Guardians are appointed early in proceedings and play a full and active role in advising the court on issues of case management, in addition to the role they always had of representing the interests of the child and advising the courts from a social work perspective.
  3. Children’s Guardians have the right of access to the child’s case records; however, they do not have right of access to any legal advice provided to the Social Worker by the Legal Services. All such advice, whether given informally or during a Child Protection Conference should be filed in the Confidential Section.


2. The Rights of the Children’s Guardian

  1. The Children’s Guardian may take copies of any records, files or reports which he/she is entitled to examine and may submit such copies as evidence.
    1. In the report
    2. Any other records concerning the child kept by Children's Social Care under their functions
  2. Any person appointed as a Children’s Guardian has the right at all reasonable times to examine and take copies of:
    1. Any records of, or held by Children’s Social Care which were compiled with in respect of the child concerned regarding these proceedings

      or
    2. Any other records concerning the child kept by Children’s Social Care under their other functions.
  3. The Social Worker will facilitate and act between the Children’s Guardian and others as required.

    Children’s Guardians should be informed by the Social Worker of any significant events in the management of the cases, including changes of placement and notification of Statutory Reviews and any other review meetings concerning the child e.g. Child Protection Review Conferences.
  4. Should any issues arise concerning the conduct of the Children’s Guardian in any case or if, for example, there is concern about any case records or reports Children’s Social Care that the Guardian intends to produce in Court, the Social Worker must bring this to the attention of the District Manager/Senior Practitioner and Legal Services. The Designated Manager (Children’s Social Care) and/or Legal Service may bring any issues which cannot be resolved locally in the context of the case, to the attention of the Head of Children’s Social Care, who will discuss the concerns with the relevant manager in CAFCASS.

End