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Clinical judgement and decision-making in children's social work: an analysis of the 'front door' system

In May 2013, the Secretary of State for Education and the Prime Minister commissioned the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) to undertake a project to look at social workers' decision-making.

Given the potential breadth of this project, and the limited resources available, BIT and the Department for Education (DfE) decided to focus upon the entry point for children coming in to contact with the Child Protection System, usually referred to as the 'front door'.

The specific question that was set for the project team was: What behavioural factors affect social workers' decisions at the 'front door' and how can we improve the 'front door' process to help social workers make better decisions?

Elspeth Kirkman
Karen Melrose
Department for Education