South Wales Shared Services Portal Delivers Faster Child Care Results from Paperless Court Proceedings

Given the sensitive nature of child welfare cases, security and confidentiality are paramount.

Swansea Family Court hears child care cases for seven counties in southwest Wales. For each hearing, all parties share case information in a “court bundle”; traditionally a set of lever arch files, each containing 350 sheets of paper.

The bundles can contain documents, images of critical evidence, X-rays, and video or sound recordings of interviews and other events which must be must be paginated, indexed, copied, and distributed, usually by courier, to all the parties involved: the judge, solicitors and barristers, parents and guardians, doctors and other experts. Subsequent amendments or additions must then be managed for all copies and parties throughout the case.

Historically, the time and cost of administration were enormous. Hearings were frequently delayed by missing or inconsistent pages and security was a big concern. Physical documents are easily lost or stolen. “In one case, a social worker had a car accident, and the papers were strewn across the M4 motorway,” Carmarthenshire County Council Childcare Solicitor Gawain Williams explains.

To reduce time, costs and speed up workflows Citrix ShareFile was chosen to digitize case bundles and create the South Wales Shared Services Portal.

Key benefits include:

  • Photocopying costs reduced by 84 percent.
  • 15+ Lever-arch files per case replaced by one laptop.
  • 2,000 users from separate agencies able to share and sync documents, audio, video and high-resolution images securely.

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