Family Law News

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Support System for Care Leavers Not Working

The National Audit Office have stated that the system for supporting young people when they leave care is not working effectively.

Despite a system and a legal framework being in place and an inspection unit, the number of care leavers obtaining employment, education and training has fallen significantly since 2007. According to the National Audit Office report, states that in 2013-14, over 10,000 young people aged over 16 left care, a significant increase of almost 50% since 2003-04. Furthermore, the report found that 33% of those aged 16 or over who left care did so before they turned 18.

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Gay Couple Win Custody Battle

A High Court judge has ruled that a gay couple should have custody of a baby girl rather than the surrogate mother.

The woman said they had agreed for her to be the main parent of the child, but the father, who donated sperm, said that the woman had agreed to be a surrogate for him and his partner.

It was deemed that the one-year-old should be removed from the custody of her mother and placed with her father as it was in “the best interests” of the girl.

Mr Justice Russell said: "The pregnancy was contrived with the aim of a same-sex couple having a child to form a family assisted by a friend.

"Therefore [the girl] living with [the two men] and spending time with [the woman] from time to time, fortunately, coincides with the reality of her conception and accords with [the girl's] identity and place within her family."

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Cuts to Legal Aid Costing the Taxpayer over £3 Million

The number of cases in family court which has seen both parties have no legal representation has almost doubled in the last year alone according to a report from the National Audit Office. (NAO)

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Proposals to enable children to see both their parents are launched

Plans to strengthen the law so children continue to see both parents if they separate have been put forward by ministers.

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Charity responds to Cafcass research

The Family Rights Group has responded to new research released by the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass), which claims that local authorities are acting more quickly to process care applications.

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New centre to lead national response on missing children

A new dedicated team of experts from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) centre will strengthen and lead the UK's ability to respond to missing children, the Home Office has announced.

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Child protection reforms welcomed

Professor Eileen Munro, author of the Government’s review of the child protection system, has said that a “culture change” is underway in the child protection system but outlined an urgent need to now accelerate reforms to create a more child-centred system.

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Care demand statistics for April 2012

The latest statistics released by the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) have revealed that care application demand continues to remain at a very high level.

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Child needs foster family every 22 minutes

A child comes into care and needs a foster family every 22 minutes across the UK, new figures from the Fostering Network have revealed.

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Court delays keep children waiting for adoption

A report published by Ofsted found that the most significant cause of delay for children needing adoption is the length of time it takes for cases to be completed in court. The average time taken to complete care proceedings in the cases inspectors examined was almost 14 months.

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'Kinship carers' left to fend for themselves

Family and friends carers, who are raising some of the nation’s most vulnerable children, are being left to fend for themselves and suffer significant levels of hardship as local authorities fail to implement central government policy, according to new research from advice charity Family Rights Group.

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Response to the Government's adoption action plan

Robert Tapsfield, chief executive of the Fostering Network, has commented on the Government's recently announced adoption action plan.

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A speedier adoption process

The Prime Minister is to set out proposed changes to legislation to ensure that, when adoption is in a child’s best interests, they are placed in loving homes as soon as possible.

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Family law reform proposals weaken safeguards for children

Nagalro, the professional association for court guardians, has welcomed the government’s commitment to reducing delay in the family justice system but warns that it risks harming children’s interests by ill-thought out change.

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Review of Hague Child Protection Conventions comes to an end

The second and final part of the Sixth Special Commission to review the practical operation of the 1980 Hague Child Abduction and 1996 Hague Child Protection Conventions has come to a close, where hundreds of experts from around the world gathered in the Academy Building of the Peace Palace to examine and discuss policy matters pertaining to both Conventions.

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Government to provide extra support for separating families

The Department of Work and Pension has announced that an extra £20 million will be made available to support separated and separating families as part of the reforms to mend the broken child support system.

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Social workers feel 'powerless' in child neglect cases

Over half (51%) of social workers, and a third of police officers (36%) report feeling 'powerless' to intervene in suspected cases of child neglect, according to a landmark report by children's charity, Action for Children.

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Support for families facing divorce

National support organisation Family Lives is bracing itself throughout January to support families going through separation or conflict with ex partners and step families, as the organisation’s new Divorce & Separation report highlights that couples are more likely to separate in January.

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Minister proposes end to child maintenance exemptions

Work and Pensions Minister Maria Miller promised a new child maintenance system that was "fairer for children" as she announced proposals to remove the exemption from maintenance liability for some part-time public servants.

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Proposals for new child maintenance scheme

Detailed proposals for the new statutory child maintenance scheme have been published, which include plans to increase the amount of maintenance paid by parents on state benefits and others declaring low incomes.

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