Publication of the Public Law Working Group Supervision Order Report – and webinar today (24 April 2023)

FamilyFamily DivisionPresident of the Family DivisionSir Andrew McFarlaneReports

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The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has welcomed and endorsed the publication of the President’s Public Law Working Group (PLWG) Supervision Order Report (April 2023).

He said: “The report and its recommendations are the fruits of intense and extensive collaborative work by professionals from all of the sectors working on child protection cases in the Family Justice system. Whilst the group has been brought together and led by the judiciary, this has genuinely been a joint endeavour by all of the many PLWG members and others who have been involved. I am most grateful to each and every one of them.

“This report makes recommendations to ensure that in the future a supervision order is a robust and effective public law order to secure and promote the welfare of children in the care of their parent(s) or wider family. The Best Practice Guidance sets out six core best principles which underpin the making and operation of supervision orders. I am particularly impressed by the new requirement of best practice that a supervision order should only be made when the court has approved a supervision support plan which clearly sets out the support and resources to be provided for a family by a local authority.

“It has been a striking feature of this work that the development of the group’s ideas and recommendations has been organic and has proceeded at each turn on the basis of agreement across the board, rather than controversy. That this is so, strongly suggests that the recommendations made are both sound and necessary. It gives ground for real optimism that the messages in this report will be welcomed by social workers, lawyers, judges, magistrates and court staff across England and Wales and that, after a short implementation period, they can be put into effect and begin to make a real difference on the ground. That is my earnest hope and confident expectation.”

  • A webinar to discuss the findings and recommendations of the Supervision Order Report and the resulting Best Practice Guidance will be hosted by the President of the Family Division and Mr Justice Keehan, Chair of the Public Law Working Group, on Monday 24 April at 4.30pm.