Child Abuse Litigation Service

Expert Opinion in respect of cases where there may be a Failure in Duty of Care or Failure to Protect

Legal immunities for child care work have been gradually removed over the past number of years because of various court rulings. As a result, local authorities are now more likely to face negligence claims. The volume of cases is also increasing due to a number of high profile sexual abuse cases including those where survivors who are well known to the public have had the courage to come forward publicly to disclose their story.

When solicitors are considering making a claim against a local authority in respect of potential negligence in the manner in which it handled a child care case, there are two critical elements where WillisPalmer can assist with our expert services.

Expert Opinion

Our team of expert social workers have lengthy post qualification experience within a range of care environments. They therefore have direct knowledge of operating within many safeguarding systems both past and present. This enables them to provide expert opinion on whether the care and protection given within a range of environments (whilst at home, in foster care, in residential care or in adoptive care) was what could be expected of reasonable social work practice for the time.

Our team is trained and supervised by our Executive Consultant, Philip King, who has a strong national reputation for his work in this field.

Preparation of the Case Records

Disclosure can reveal Local Authority case records that range from a small bundle to 20 lever arch files or more. These records vary massively in their layout related to the time period involved and the varying practices of local authorities. They are often complex and not helped by containing jargon/abbreviation, being poorly sorted and containing what may appear to be repetitive documents – although this is not always the case. The examination of these records requires an experienced social work eye to sift and analyse them into a manageable form. Critically, this professional eye is essential to constructing a fair and balanced chronology in order to reveal a true picture of the case. Finally, the records need to be sorted into good order and paginated with an index.

WillisPalmer has a team of experienced social workers who can undertake this skilled work backed up by administrative staff who are well acquainted with social work records.

For more information and to make a referral, please contact elle@willispalmer.com or call 01206 878165