Journal Article

Squeezing the Toothpaste Tube: Will Tackling Court Delay Result in <i>Pre-Court</i> Delay in its Place?

Bridget McKeigue and Chris Beckett

in The British Journal of Social Work

Published on behalf of British Association of Social Workers

Volume 40, issue 1, pages 154-169
Published in print January 2010 | ISSN: 0045-3102
Published online September 2008 | e-ISSN: 1468-263X | DOI:
Squeezing the Toothpaste Tube: Will Tackling Court Delay Result in Pre-Court Delay in its Place?

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This article is the first to report on a study that tracked all the care proceedings initiated by an English local authority over a one-year period, obtaining factual information and opinions from the social workers involved in the case through the use of guided interviews. The main objective of the researchers was to contribute to understanding of ways in which children are kept waiting in difficult and insecure situations for decisions to be made about their long-term future. This article focuses in particular on the problem of delays that occur prior to a case coming into the court arena. The article offers evidence that current initiatives to reduce court delay may have the unintended result of increasing pre-court delay.

Keywords: Care proceedings; court delay; pre-court delay; social work decision making

Journal Article.  6578 words. 

Subjects: Social Work

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