2022.03.29 - I&A - Independent Social Work Reports

Why Independent Social Work Reports Are Crucial In Immigration And Asylum Cases Webinar


In this free webinar held on 29 March 2022, Laurence Chester, an Independent Social Worker from Alphabet Social Work, looks at the Home Office duties to children and families. He also explains how Independent Social Work reports can assist in offering an independent challenge to the Home Office when they fail to properly consider their obligations to uphold Article 8 ECHR rights to family life and ensure that children’s interests are properly considered.

Target Audience

This webinar is aimed at legal practitioners and those working with them, with an assumed basic knowledge of the topic area.


The webinar slides can be downloaded below:


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Laurence Chester | Independent Social Worker | Alphabet Social Work

A qualified social worker since 1995, Laurence has significant expertise in child welfare issues from his work as part of local authority social work teams as well as within the voluntary sector with NSPCC. Between 2000-2009, he worked with the Home Office in an honorary position as Chair of the Home Office National Refugee Integration Forum (NRIF), sub group for Children & Families. He was also a member of the Housing and Health sub groups and contributed to the Home Office publication ‘Integration Matters’ (2005).

As part of his role for the NRIF, Laurence hosted workshops on behalf of the Home Office and gave presentations on the challenges of integration of migrants in British society directly to Ministers and Lead Members of Local Authorities. He represented the Home Office in negotiations with overseas governments concerning issues related to child migration and human trafficking. This led to the Home Office Minister of the time, Des Browne, remarking on his expertise in child and family social work and refugee issues as part of a debate in the House of Commons in 2004. (House of Commons Hansard Debates for 19 Jul 2004 (pt33)).

Laurence has been a guest lecturer at Loughborough University and worked in partnership with them to undertake research into the experiences of new migrant women in the West Midlands.

Much of his current work is related to immigration and asylum issues. He also provides reports for Local Authorities on matters concerning the best interest of children in Public/Private Law Outline proceedings.