Independent experts in care order proceedings: A scoping review
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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This article presents findings from a scoping review of the published literature on independent experts in care order proceedings. The aim of the review is to inform the researchers, policymakers and practitioners working at the crossroads of social work, psychology and law of the current knowledge base and gaps in the research. The review includes 43 articles from which we extracted and analysed content related to how and why independent experts are used in care order proceedings, challenges and advantages of using such experts, and the consequences of using these experts for the family. The results revealed several challenges relating to the use of independent experts and the way in which this work is organised, and their methods. The findings indicate that some challenges are caused by the various professions that are involved in these proceedings having insufficient knowledge and understanding of each other’s mandates for the work they carry out in this field. The review recommends further research on the expert reports’ impact on children and families, and how they affect the court’s decisions.