Section 7 Reports
What is a Section 7 Report?
A Section 7 Report is a report written by an Independent Social Worker in cases where an application has been made to the Court in accordance with The Children Act 1989 section 8.
An Independent Social Worker provides an independent evaluation and assessment of a situation and reports the findings to the Court. A Section 7 Report needs to contain background information and the key facts and evidence that the child’s needs have been considered in accordance with the Welfare Checklist.
The Section 7 Report collates all the available evidence and information about the child’s situation and sets it out in the form of a comprehensive report advising the Court of the child’s wishes and feelings and what the Social Worker considers to be in the best interest of the child.
When is a Section 7 Report necessary?
An Independent Social Worker may be required to write a Section 7 Report for the Court in cases of divorce and separating parents. If a child’s parents have not been able to decide between themselves where their child is going to live and who with and when the child will have contact with the other parent a decision will need to be made by the Court about where a child will live (Residence Order) or when a child will visit (Contact Order).
The Court orders a Section 7 Report to enable the child’s wishes and feelings to be taken in to consideration by someone independent.
What is the process?
An Avocet Independent Social Worker will receive a Court Order clearly stating what it is they need to include in their report for the Court. The Independent Social Worker will need to look at Local Authority case files if the family is known to Children’s Social Care.
The Independent Social Worker will contact both parents and arrange to visit them at their home and will arrange to meet with the child, to observe the child with their parent and to talk to them on their own, dependent on their age and ability. Avocet Independent Social Workers are particularly skilled at gaining information from children through the process of direct work.
Our Independent Social Worker will meet with the family members and if appropriate make contact with any professionals involved with the family for the purpose of gaining further information about the child’s circumstances.
Avocet aims to complete Section 7 Reports in accordance with the time-scale set out in a Court Order.
Court must be informed “immediately” in the event of any non-compliance. In Re W (Children) EWFC 22, the President has reminded practitioners that parties in cases in the Family Court are not permitted to amend a timetable fixed by the court without the prior approval of the court. In that case, in breach of a case [...]... read more
Cartoon by Fran as published in Community Care e-bulletin this week.... read more
Current child neglect laws have been criticised for focusing on the physical effects of abuse only. Ofsted finds child-neglect failings One in 10 UK children ‘neglected’ Bid to change child neglect laws The government is “seriously” considering introducing a new offence of emotional cruelty to children, the BBC understands. The proposed change to neglect laws [...]... read more