Squeezing the toothpaste tube: will tackling court delay result in pre-court delay in its place?

Bridget McKeigue, Chris Beckett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-169
Number of pages16
JournalBritish Journal of Social Work
Issue number1
Early online date4 Sep 2008
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010

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