In2011 eight local authorities participated in a test recommended by the Monroereview of child protection. The aim was to establish if a more flexibleassessment practice would be beneficial local authorities. The currenttwo-stage assessment process would be moulded into one assessment. The newsingle assessment forms would still incorporate the framework for assessmentfor children in need and their families however, it would allow practitionersthe ability to use professional judgement about what is needed should berecorded. One of the main benefits of the trial was the flexibility ofstatutory deadlines for work. Monroereview of child protection recommended that the government should review thestatutory guidelines for working together to Safeguard children and theframework for assessment of children in need and their families.
The new pilotsassessments introduced variable timescales to the statutory guidelines. Munrorecommended that children under section 47 enquiry should be seen on the sameday as the referral. All within four days of case allocationtheconclusion of the trial showed social workers felt that they were able tocomplete meaningful assessments of families they were able to carry outadditional home visits when required this reduced pressure on social workersand allow them more time to complete community work. The majority of socialworkers involved in the trial welcomed the new single assessment as they feltthey were able to produce more quality assessments using their professionalskills. It was felt returning back to the statutory guidelines on time limitsto complete assessments would be taking a step back. It is felt that withouttime limits and deadlines were could not be completed.
Therefore is highlightedthat flexibility around time limits should be used to improve the quality ofwork and enable the worker to gauge better and deeper understanding of thecomplexities of cases and not used to postpone work.