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Directions are instructions given by the court.
In care proceedings, directions will normally cover such things as:
- Confirming a timetable for the case. Cases should be completed within 26 weeks. Directions will also be used to set out a schedule of court dates.
- Instructions about who needs to attend hearings.
- Whether any other adult who is important to the child should be joined as a party to the proceedings.
- What documents should be given to any person who is not a party to proceedings but who may, for example, be being put forward as a long-term carer for the child.
- Whether any expert reports are needed from those with specialist knowledge (e.g. a psychologist or doctor)
- What needs to be done and by when for the case to proceed to a final hearing including: what additional statements, reports and assessments the court needs, and who should prepare them.