Online service for care applications launched

Rollout to recommence this month

Credit: Adam Peck/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The government is to restart the implementation of an online service for filing and managing care applications and emergency protection orders.

Such orders can be issued by local authorities in cases where a child is at risk or has been a victim of neglect or abuse. The rollout of a digital service for creating and managing applications was paused in March as government dealt with the coronavirus crisis.

But work on the online tool is to resume on 14 September.

In the last six months, digital specialists working on the project have “improved performance” of the tool in anticipation of it being rolled out across the country. The implementation will adopt “a phased approach”, beginning with a deployment across eight courts.

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Once live, the service will allow councils to create new applications which they can then manage online. Courts, legal representatives, and the judiciary will also be able to use the technological platform to progress cases.

Government’s Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service – as well as solicitors acting on behalf of parents – will be able to access case information and instructions on actions that need to be completed in advance of court hearings.

Evidence and legal documents can also be uploaded via the platform, and can then be annotated.

The existing Family Public Law service “will transition into Court and Tribunal Service Centres as the roll out progresses”, according to HM Courts and Tribunals Service.

“This means support for some administrative tasks relating to case management will move to a central function,” it added. “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.”


Sam Trendall

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