Government launches online 'divorce calculator' to tell separating partners how much they will get

A 'divorce calculator' to work out the cost of splitting up has been put online by the government leading to fears it will further erode the institution of marriage.

Full story: Daily Mail

IDS backs shock courses to stop couples splitting up

Parents who are on the brink of splitting up could be told to “walk through” the impact that divorce would have on their children under a radical plan being considered by ministers.

Full story: The Telegraph

Expert fees for independent social workers ‘irrational’

The Ministry of Justice is putting the welfare of children caught up in complex family court proceedings at risk, organisations representing independent social work expert witnesses have claimed.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Legal aid cuts will hit women the hardest, says justice department

Women will bear the brunt of plans to strip back legal aid as funding for family law and divorce cases is cut, according to the justice department's own assessment of the impact of reforms.

Full story: The Guardian

Coalition ministers consider gay marriage plans

New laws giving full marriage rights to gay couples could be introduced under reforms being considered by the Coalition, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

Full story: The Telegraph

Munro asks frontline workers what needs to change

Frontline workers are being asked to tell Professor Eileen Munro what they would like to keep and what should be discarded in the child protection system.

Full story: Community Care

President’s Guidance in relation to case management decisions and appeals therefrom

This Guidance, issued by the President of the Family Division on 17 December 2010, is intended to assist judges and magistrates in determining when they should order an expert's report or additional assessments.

Full story: Family Law

Migrant marriage rules condemned by Court of Appeal

A ban on young foreign spouses entering the UK has been condemned as "arbitrary and disruptive" by the Court of Appeal.

Full story: BBC News

Gay marriage legal challenge bid stalled by paperwork

A bid by eight British couples to challenge the UK's ban on gay marriages and heterosexual civil partnerships has been postponed, campaigners have said.

Full story: BBC News

Royal College outlines standards for child protection

All children's social workers ought to have access to a paediatrician who can provide child protection advice and assessments, according to a new set of standards.

Full story: Community Care

Gay marriage rights battle takes to European courts

A campaign group is launching a legal challenge in the European Court of Human Rights to extend the rights of gay couples to full marriage.

Full story: BBC News

Forced mediation will encourage ‘excessive demands’ in family disputes

Pushing parties into mediation in family disputes will encourage badly behaved partners to make ‘excessive demands’, an MP warned in a parliamentary debate on legal aid reform last week.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Gingerbread to examine state of the child support system since 2008 reforms

Single-parent charity Gingerbread is to examine how parents are coping under the current child support system following changes made in October 2008.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Justice ministry oversight 'insults' independent workers

Independent social workers say they have been insulted by the Ministry of Justice, which failed to acknowledge them in the latest consultation on legal aid reforms.

Full story: Community Care

Judge who left wife for widow of gunman barrister Mark Saunders expected to pay 'several million' in divorce settlement

A High Court judge once described as Britain’s top divorce lawyer has left his wife of 29 years for a barrister whose husband was shot dead by police.

Full story: Mail Online

Public Law Children applications show seasonal decline

According to the latest court statistics published by the Ministry of Justice, here were 5,900 children involved in public law applications made in the third quarter of 2010, a six per cent drop from the 6,300 involved in the equivalent period for 2009.

Full story: Family Law Week

Department for Education publishes recorded outcomes for looked after children

The Department for Education has published information on a range of outcomes for children who have been continuously looked after by a local authority for at least 12 months as at 31 March 2010 in England.

Full story: Family Law Week

The Family Procedure (Civil Partnership: Staying of Proceedings) Rules 2010

These Rules, which replace the Family Proceedings (Civil Partnership: Staying of Proceedings) Rules 2005 (SI 2005 No. 2921), are made under sections 75 and 76 of the Courts Act 2003 as extended by section 223 of the Civil Partnership Act 2004. Section 223 of the Civil Partnership Act 2004 allows for provision to be made in relation to civil partnerships corresponding to the provision made in respect of marriages by Schedule 1 to the Domicile and Matrimonial Proceedings Act 1973 (c. 45). That Schedule makes provision about the relationship between domestic proceedings for divorce, judicial separation, nullity of marriage and declarations as to the validity and subsistence of a marriage of the applicant, and proceedings in another jurisdiction of a similar type, and provides for when those domestic proceedings must or may be stayed.

Statutory Instrument

Victory for wife in 'Nazi gold bullion' divorce battle as husband is ordered to pay her £2.5 million

A wife who accused her husband of stashing away three gold bars to hide the true extent of his wealth in a bitter divorce battle has won a £2.5million payout.

Full story: Daily Mail

Campaigners take fight against ban on gay marriage to European court

Eight British couples will take their case to overturn the bans on same-sex marriages and heterosexual civil partnerships to the European Court of Human Rights next week.

Full story: The Telegraph

Court closures announced

The Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly has announced that 93 magistrates' courts and 49 county courts in England and Wales are to be closed.

Full story: Family Law

Baroness Butler-Sloss warns legal aid cuts could cause court delays

The former President of the Family Division, Baroness Butler-Sloss, has warned that cuts to legal aid could result in cases in the family courts taking longer because people will be forced to represent themselves.

Full story: Family Law

Cafcass North and South of Tyne rated ‘good’

Cafcass' services in North and South of Tyne have been rated 'good' by a new Ofsted inspection report, published today.

Full story: Family Law

Munro review may adopt police risk assessment methods

The Munro review is looking at adopting police risk assessment methods for all child protection workers, according to a former police chief who sits on the team.

Full story: Community Care

Social workers should intervene earlier, says Gove

Education secretary Michael Gove has called for social workers to intervene earlier when children are at risk of harm.

Full story: Community Care

National professional standards for social workers published

The Social Work Reform Board has today published the first single, national set of professional standards for social workers, in a bid to raise the status of the job in line with other public sector roles such as nursing and teaching.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Family Law Bar Association Warns of Consequences of Civil Legal Aid Cuts

Ahead of Justice Secretary, Kenneth Clarke QC MP’s appearance before the Justice Select Committee tomorrow, the Family Law Bar Association, which represents family barristers in England and Wales, has warned of the potentially dangerous consequences of the planned cuts to civil legal aid.

Full story: Family Law Bar Association

Videotaped clues from Baby P's mother were missed

In a videotaped interview obtained by Panorama, experts say Peter Connelly's mother, Tracey Connelly, provided vital clues into the dangers that lurked in the family home.

Full story: BBC Panorama

Mother of Baby P was thanked for her honesty

A senior social worker thanks the mother of Baby P for being "completely honest" during an interview taken four months before his death which will be broadcast for the first time tonight.

Full story: The Independent

Surrogacy couple: paying American woman was our last chance for a child

A British couple who won the legal right to pay a “commercial” rate to a surrogate mother in the US have said that the act was their last chance to have a child - and disclosed that the woman is now "firmly part of our family".

Full story: The Telegraph

Government pledges £30m to keep families together

Troubled families are to receive support worth £30m over the next four years, children's minister Sarah Teather has announced.

Full story: Community Care

David Cameron pledge to help 'troubled families'

The government has a role to play in promoting strong families, David Cameron has argued in a speech.

Full story: BBC News

Care applications continue to rise

Care application demand between April and November 2010 is 3.8 % higher when compared to the same period last year.

Full story: Family Law Week

Sharp rise in number of women killed by violent partners

At least 101 women died at the hands of husband, boyfriend or ex in 2009, Home Office figures show.

Full story: The Guardian

Childless couples pay £25k for surrogate mothers in US

Childless couples are travelling to the United States to buy the services of surrogate mothers at up to £25,000 a time.

Full story: The Telegraph

Twice as many excellent services as last year, says Ofsted

Twice the number of councils are providing excellent children's services compared with last year, according to Ofsted's 2010 children's services assessments, published today.

Full story: Community Care

Secretive court opens doors to journalists

One of Britain's most secretive courts opened itself to public scrutiny yesterday after a High Court judge lifted reporting restrictions on work done by a hitherto-closed corner of the British justice system.

Full story: The Independent

Twelve councils 'performing poorly' in children's services, says Ofsted

Government inspector Ofsted says 12 councils given 'performing poorly' rating are not doing enough to keep children safe.

Full story: The Guardian

Childless couples win the right to pay surrogate mother

Childless couples will be able to pay surrogate mothers large sums of money to have babies for them, following a landmark High Court ruling.

Full story: The Telegraph

Health services are the 'weak link' in child protection, says Loughton

Health services are often not integrated into child protection arrangements, children's minister Tim Loughton has claimed.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Unmarried parents 'to blame for rise in broken homes'

Nearly half of children born today will be living in broken homes by the age of 16 as growing numbers of families split up, according to analysis of official figures.

Full story: The Telegraph

Shoesmith exclusive interview: Coalition wrong on case reviews

Sharon Shoesmith, the former Haringey director of children's services sacked over the Peter Connelly tragedy, has criticised the coalition's move to publish in full all serious case reviews into child abuse and neglect.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

New legislation needed to broaden children's commissioner's role

The Children's Rights Director's role is set to be dissolved into the role of the Children's Commissioner, following an independent report approved by the government today.

Full story: Community Care

Proportion of married residents in England and Wales falls to 40%

Latest figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that the estimated number of married people in England and Wales was 21.7 million in mid-2009, down 16,000 compared with the previous year.

Full story: Family Law Week

Family Justice Review Panel addresses the All Party Parliamentary Group on Family Law about its work

On Tuesday, 30th November The All Party Parliamentary Group on Family Law and The Court of Protection invited members of the Family Justice Review Panel to talk about their work to date and what they felt the family law landscape might look like in the near future.

Full story: Family Law Week

EU approves new divorce regulations

The EU Legal Affairs Committee has today unanimously approved new rules that will allow the residents of 14 participating Member States to choose which country's law should govern their divorce.

Full story: Family Law

Test flaws 'nearly cost mother baby'

A hair test on a mother who nearly lost her child over alcohol allegations has been discredited by the High Court - potentially calling into question some of 12,000 other tests done by the same company.

Full story: BBC News

Gay couple lose residency appeal

A gay woman and her civil partner have lost their appeal against a ruling granting joint residency to the father of their two children who were born by artificial insemination.

Full story: The Press Association

150,000 children at risk of neglect or abuse

Almost 150,000 children are being seen by social workers as potential victims of neglect or abuse, according to government figures that disclose the full scale of the problem for the first time.

Full story: The Telegraph

Almost 40,000 children are subject to a child protection plan, Children in Need Census reveals

More than 39,000 children in England are subject to a child protection plan, according to latest government statistics.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Legal aid solicitors overpaid by £77m

Legal aid solicitors have been overpaid by almost £77m, according to a report published today by public spending watchdog, the National Audit Office.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Government proposes to provide solicitors £150 for mediation advice

Courts Minister Jonathan Djanogly has announced that family solicitors could receive a fixed fee of £150 to provide advice during mediation and to formalise and give legal effect to any agreement reached.

Full story: Family Law

Coroner rules out inquest into death of Baby P

An inquest into the death of Baby P will not go ahead, a coroner ruled today.

Full story: The Independent

Call for clarity over role of child safety boards

The role of bodies set up to protect children in Wales needs to be clarified, according to a group of AMs.

Full story: BBC News

Minister supports mediation

In a speech at the National Family Mediation annual general meeting, Minister Jonathan Djanogly said the Government was committed to supporting mediation as a way of resolving family disputes.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Review looks at 7,000 child protection cases in Kent

An urgent review of 7,000 cases has been launched after Kent County Council's child protection services were found to be inadequate.

Full story: BBC News

Wigan child protection wins Ofsted praise

Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council's child protection service has been praised by Ofsted inspectors following an unannounced visit.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Mr Justice Coleridge addresses ALC National Conference

Last week Mr Justice Coleridge gave the keynote address at the 21st annual national conference of the Association of Lawyers for Children in Southampton.

Full story: Family Law Week

Another heterosexual couple tests civil partnership law

A heterosexual couple from Bristol have joined the legal challenge being organised by OutRage!, the gay rights group, after their application for a civil partnership was refused.

Full story: Family Law Week

14 EU states ready to align divorce rules for ‘international couples’

EU Justice Ministers are expected to endorse a mechanism for enhanced cooperation, introduced in principle as part of the Lisbon Treaty, on Friday, 3rd December.

Full story: Family Law Week

Survey reveals social work supervision deficiencies

Social workers are not always receiving the amount of supervision they need and most are not getting adequate support for professional development issues or the emotional problems their work presents, according to a survey released today by the British Association of Social Workers.

Full story: Family Law

Sharp rise in children on child protection register in Wales

The number of children on the child protection register in Wales has gone up by 9% – to 2,700 – since last year. In 2008 the number was 2,400.

Full story: Community Care

Domestic violence suspects face being banned from home

People suspected of abusing a partner could be banned from their homes for up to four weeks under government plans to tackle domestic violence.

Full story: BBC News

Ofsted verdict based on old information says Cafcass head

Family courts body Cafcass has disputed Ofsted's conclusion it is a "poorly performing organisation" claiming it is based on inspection reports that do not reflect the current situation.

Full story: Community Care

Solicitor loses ‘race to divorce’ against husband

A lawyer was criticised today for wasting time and money on a pointless race with her banker husband to see who could divorce each other first.

Full story: London Evening Standard

Ofsted concern as 10 councils' child safety inadequate

Ofsted has said there is "real cause for concern" as 10 local authorities have been found to be inadequate in safeguarding children this year.

Full story: BBC News

Service demand no excuse for poor performance, finds Ofsted

Increased demand for child protection and safeguarding services is not an excuse for a council's poor performance, Ofsted's annual report for 2009-10 has revealed.

Full story: Community Care

Seven new states ratify Hague Convention on protection of children

Seven additional Member States have ratified the 1996 Hague Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children.

Full story: Family Law

Safeguarding services inadequate in a third of Ofsted's safeguarding inspections

Child protection services were found to be inadequate in a third of the 29 councils inspected by Ofsted this year, the watchdog's annual report has revealed.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

40% of newly qualified staff slam £5m support scheme

More than 40% of participants in a pioneering £5m support scheme to reduce burnout among newly qualified social workers were unhappy with the programme, it has been revealed.

Full story: Community Care

Euromillions winner 'pays out £2m to ex-wife'

A Euromillions lottery winner is to pay his ex-wife £2 million 10 years after she left him.

Full story: The Independent

Court of Appeal orders naming of couple in big money ancillary relief proceedings

Lord Justice Thorpe explains balance of openness and privacy in AR proceedings.

Full story: Family Law Week

Minister sets out plans to support mediation in family law disputes

Jonathan Djanogly outlines move away from court resolutions.

Full story: Family Law Week

More effort needed to keep siblings together in care

The Fostering Network is calling on councils to do more to ensure siblings are not separated when they are taken into care.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Ofsted finds Kent child protection 'inadequate'

Kent County Council has apologised after an Ofsted report found its childcare protection to be inadequate.

Full story: BBC News

Society launches campaign to fight legal aid cuts

The Law Society has called on law firms to lobby MPs over the impact of the government’s proposed legal aid overhaul, in the first stage in its campaign to fight the cuts.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Family Law and the Court of Protection

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Family Law and the Court of Protection will be holding its next meeting on Tuesday 30 November in Committee Room 9 at the Palace of Westminster.

Full story: Family Law

Basic Guidance to Good Practice in Care Proceedings across London

District Judge Richard Harper, Chair of the Public Law Outline Monitoring Group for London, has issued guidance to highlight basic requirements of good practice during the currency of care proceedings.

Full story: Family Law

President’s Guidance in relation to Out of Hours Hearings

The President of the Family Division, Sir Nicholas Wall, has issued guidance reminding the legal profession that they should only contact a High Court judge of the Family Division on duty "out of hours" in absolutely "urgent" cases.

Full story: Family Law

Public Law Outline 'not working' says leading magistrate

Children's welfare is suffering because family courts are "bogged down" with unnecessary assessments, the leading magistrate in the field has warned.

Full story: Community Care

8,000 vulnerable children denied social workers

Councils have failed to allocate social workers to more than 8,000 vulnerable children across the country, a Community Care investigation has revealed.

Full story: Community Care

Loughton calls for collaborative working to aid adoption

Children's minister Tim Loughton is calling on local authorities to work more closely with voluntary adoption agencies in the face of a decline in adoption rates.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Christian advisor loses gay adoption case tribunal

A Christian adoption adviser dismissed for refusing to recommend same-sex couples as suitable parents has lost her claim for religious discrimination.

Full story: BBC News

Gay couple from Northampton join marriage campaign

A gay couple are starting a legal fight to marry after their application for a civil marriage licence at Northampton Register Officer was rejected.

Full story: BBC News

Resolution responds to Ministry of Justice announcement on legal aid

Proposed changes to the scope of legal aid could put thousands of vulnerable people at risk and deny justice to countless families, family lawyers’ association Resolution has warned.

Full story: Resolution

Legal aid to be axed in some civil cases

The government has announced major changes to the system of civil legal aid in England and Wales.

Full story: BBC News

The Children and Young Persons Act 2008 (Commencement No.3) (England) Order 2010

This Order is the third Commencement Order made by the Secretary of State under the Children and Young Persons Act 2008 (“the Act”) which brings provisions of the Act into force only in relation to England. Article 2 brings into force on 15th November 2010: section 8(2) and Schedule 1 in so far as they insert section 59(3A) and (5A) into the Children Act 1989 and make consequential amendments to that section; and section 15 in so far as it inserts section 23ZA(1)(b) into the Children Act 1989 for the purpose only of making regulations.

Statutory Instrument

Legal aid clampdown will save £300 million

Sweeping cuts to the legal aid budget which will greatly reduce the number of people entitled to assistance are to be unveiled within days.

Full story: The Telegraph

LSC extends family contracts

The Legal Services Commission has today extended the present family and combined family/housing legal aid contracts until 30 November next year.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Cafcass defends itself after damning report by MPs

Family courts body Cafcass has hit back at MPs who concluded it was "not fit for purpose" after care applications soared following the death of Baby P.

Full story: Community Care

Father and son fight over £5.1m divorce settlement

A father is fighting his son in court over a £5.1 million divorce settlement he made with his former wife two months before she died.

Full story: The Independent

Family court service Cafcass criticised by MPs

The organisation which provides legal help for children in care cases is "not fit for purpose", a group of MPs says.

Full story: BBC News

House of Commons seminar calls for reform of Poel and Payne

Equal parental rights charity Families Need Fathers (FNF) held a seminar in the House of Commons yesterday to highlight the need for a review and reform of child related relocation law.

Full story: Family Law

Children put at risk by failure to engage men in protection cases

Social workers are endangering the lives of vulnerable children by failing to engage with men in child protection cases, the Fatherhood Institute has warned.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Sharon Shoesmith Baby P legal bid costs nearly £500,000

A legal battle by the council director sacked over the death of Baby P has cost taxpayers nearly £500,000.

Full story: BBC News

Iain Duncan Smith reiterates Government’s support of marriages

The work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, has reiterated the Government's commitment to family relationships and expressed his concern of the effect of family breakdown on society.

Full story: Family Law

Heterosexual couple make second attempt for civil partnership

Heterosexuals Tom Freeman and Katherine Doyle will request civil partnership to oppose segregation by sexuality.

Full story: The Guardian

Gay man and woman in court battle over children

A gay man and woman are fighting a bitter court battle over their two children born by artificial insemination.

Full story: The Independent

Guidance restricts social workers learning from serious case reviews

Social workers have not learned the lessons from the Baby P case because government guidance prevents them from being more authoritative with parents and families, the author of the second serious case review on the toddler's death has told Community Care.

Full story: Community Care

Parents who adopt abused children hampered by woeful lack of support

Charities say parents receive little official support to cope with problems that emerge from adopting an abused child.

Full story: The Observer

Father spared threat of jail after son refused to see mother

A father has been spared the threat of jail after a family judge conceded that his “intelligent” 10-year-old son was acting on his own wishes when he refused to see his mother.

Full story: The Telegraph

Family barrister Maria Scotland wins Bar Pro Bono Award

Family barrister, Maria Scotland, of 7 Bedford Row Chambers, has been named the winner of the 14th Annual Sydney Elland Goldsmith Bar Pro Bono Award.

Full story: Family Law

Children and families charities call on Minister for protection against cuts

The Fostering Network, Children England, Voice and 11 other children and families' charities have sent an open letter to the Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, expressing deep concern about the effect of cuts on vulnerable children and young people.

Full story: Family Law Week

Government's full SCR publication restriction angers sector

Social workers are missing out on valuable information and learning because the government's policy to publish serious case reviews in full applies only to reviews commissioned after June 2010.

Full story: Community Care

High Court judge: pre-nups end 'rosy romantic' marriage

The “rosy romantic” notion of marriage has been replaced by cold economics without any public debate, a leading High Court judge has warned.

Full story: The Telegraph

Family justice findings will accompany Munro report

An interim report on the family justice review will accompany the Munro review when it is published in April, children's minister Tim Loughton revealed today.

Full story: Community Care

Councils want Ofsted inspections to be scrapped

Councils have called for Ofsted annual inspections to be scrapped following the announcement yesterday by care minister Paul Burstow that similar inspections for adult social care would be scrapped.

Full story: Community Care

First meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Family Law

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Family Law met for the first time in the Palace of Westminster on Tuesday evening to debate What is Marriage? What obligations should it entail?

Full story: Family Law

Fewer children adopted after equality rules force agencies to shut

Fewer children are being adopted than at any time since 1998 after Labour gave adoption rights to homosexual and unmarried couples, according to new figures.

Full story: The Telegraph

College of Social Work 'not ready' to represent the profession

The College of Social Work is not yet ready to take on the responsibility of speaking on behalf of the profession, the body's co-chair has admitted.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Bankruptcies rise among divorced middle age women

Bankruptcies among middle-aged women have risen sharply amid the economic crisis as they struggle to mix work and child care after divorce, new figures show.

Full story: The Telegraph

Children from broken homes 'nine times more likely to commit crimes'

Children from broken homes are nine times more likely to commit crimes than those from stable families, Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, said.

Full story: The Telegraph

BASW rejects Loughton's comments on inter-racial adoption

Social workers have accused children's minister Tim Loughton of making "sweeping statements" and "ill-thought out" comments about inter-racial adoptions.

Full story: Community Care

Oil millionaire's ex-wife seeks higher divorce settlement

An oil technology millionaire's former wife today asked judges to double her divorce settlement, saying £5 million was "far too low".

Full story: The Independent

Loughton: Adoption hindered by political correctness

Children's minister Tim Loughton has hit out at the "hints of political correctness" that is hampering children's chances of being adopted.

Full story: Community Care

Children raise concerns about being unprepared to enter the care system

Looked-after children have voiced their fears on being ill-informed on entering the care system, in a survey by the Children's Rights Director for England Dr Roger Morgan.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Almost half of all SCRs deal with children in need

Nearly half the children who were subjects of serious case reviews over the past two years were children in need, according to Ofsted's latest report.

Full story: Community Care

Promote inter-racial adoption, children's minister tells social workers

Social workers should make it easier for white couples to adopt children from different ethnic backgrounds, a government minister said last night.

Full story: The Guardian

Foster carers demand the same legal rights as council workers

Foster carers are fighting to gain the same rights as other local authority workers and calling for greater legal protection, after Norfolk County Council was ruled to have acted unlawfully in removing two teenagers from a placement without consultation.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

List of famous care leavers to provide role models and dispel negative stereotypes

A list of famous and successful care leavers is being published in an attempt to improve the image of the care system and counter negative stereotypes.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Children’s social work faces staffing crisis

Children’s social services have the worst recruitment and retention difficulties in local government, the annual council workforce survey has found.

Full story: Public Finance

Myths persist over gay adoptive parents

One in ten people still believe that gay people cannot adopt children, a survey says.

Full story: Pink News

Couple 'doomed not to be approved as foster carers'

A Christian couple were "doomed not to be approved" as foster carers because of their traditional views on homosexuality, a court heard today.

Full story: The Independent

LGA urges reforms as councils struggle to retain children's social workers

Eight out of 10 councils with retention difficulties struggle to keep hold of children's social workers, a study has found.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

National Adoption Week celebrated this week

Theme of the campaign is ‘every child deserves a family’.

Full story: Family Law Week

Fees for intercountry adoption services announced

The Department for Education has announced that it will begin charging for intercountry adoption services from 1 April 2011.

Full story: Family Law Week

Child violence against parents on rise

Children are increasingly likely to attack their parents both physically and verbally, a leading charity warns today.

Full story: The Observer

Adoption system fails the most vulnerable

Hundreds of vulnerable children are stuck in foster care because local authorities are short of cash and begrudge paying adoption agencies to place youngsters with families.

Full story: The Independent on Sunday

Abused children 'at greater risk' after U-turn on court fees

Abused children will be at greater risk after the government abandoned plans to abolish expensive court fees, according to child protection experts.

Full story: The Observer

Christian couple who cannot accept homosexuality challenge their fostering ban

A Christian couple who were banned from becoming foster parents because they believed homosexuality was unacceptable are taking their case to the High Court in a landmark legal challenge.

Full story: The Telegraph

Minister calls for more child protection volunteers

Volunteer social workers should be recruited to help overstretched professionals working on child protection cases, the children's minister, Tim Loughton, has proposed.

Full story: The Guardian

Senior judge slams court closures

The senior presiding judge for England and Wales has criticised the government’s plans to close 157 courts, in a consultation response intended to reflect the views of many judges and ­magistrates.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Record maintenance payments and more children benefiting as Child Support Agency progress continues.

The performance of the Child Support Agency has continued its steady improvement with the latest figures setting new records both for total maintenance payments and the number of children benefiting from them.

Full story: Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission

Child protection staff still failing to do job properly, Ofsted finds

Watchdog finds fewer than half of serious case reviews better than adequate and authorities frequently too trusting of parents.

Full story: The Guardian

Child abuse reviews improve slowly, say inspectors

More than one in six official inquiries into the most serious cases of child abuse in England are inadequate, the watchdog Ofsted has warned.

Full story: BBC News

Lawyers call for details of £350m legal aid budget cut

Lawyers have called on the Ministry of Justice to give details of how it intends to cut £350m from the legal aid budget, following the outcome of the government’s spending review, announced last week.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Children 'at risk' over court fees

Solicitors have warned that local authorities may be deterred from placing vulnerable children into care, following the government’s decision not to scrap the controversial court fees paid by councils in care and supervision cases.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Tycoon wins £1m cut to £8m divorce award

City tycoon Maurice Robson won a £1 million cut to the £8 million he was ordered to pay his ex-wife today in a divorce settlement described by a judge as "half of the carcass of the golden goose".

Full story: The Independent

Guidance on cases where one parent has been killed by the other

This guidance and case resume has been issued by Mrs Justice Hogg.

Full story: Family Law

The Children and Adoption Act 2006 (Commencement No. 4) Order 2010

This Order brings into force on 28th October 2010 section 13 of the Children and Adoption Act 2006.

Statutory Instrument

LSC rules out appeal against family tender judgment

The Legal Services Commission has announced that it will not appeal against the High Court’s judgment following the Law Society’s successful challenge to the family tender process.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Social Work Reform Board's submission to Family Justice Review criticised

The British Association of Social Workers has sharply criticised the Social Work Reform Board for contributing to the Family Justice Review without fully consulting the views of all Board representatives.

Full story: Family Law

Lord chief justice calls for reform of family system

The adversarial court system is not appropriate for settling parental disputes over the custody of children, the lord chief justice said today.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Baby Peter 'was failed by all agencies'

Baby Peter's "horrifying death" was down to the incompetence of almost every member of staff who came into contact with him, official reports say.

Full story: BBC News

Baby P officials failed to check on mother's boyfriend, papers reveal

Full publication of serious case reviews show social worker failed to check on violent partner who was involved in death of Peter.

Full story: The Guardian

Man in 50s ordered to behave in parents' home

A family court has issued a rare order forcing a middle aged man to behave properly in his parents' home.

Full story: The Telegraph

Care Matters funding to be reduced by almost half in four years, minister reveals

Government funding to improve the care system and narrow the gap between children in care and their peers will be halved by 2014, CYP Now has learned.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Baby P examination details 'ignored' by official report

Details of a Great Ormond Street Hospital doctor's crucial medical examination of Baby Peter were excluded from the official report into his death, due to be published on Tuesday, BBC London has learned.

Full story: BBC News

Serious harm cases 'should not merit SCR'

Serious case reviews (SCRs) ought to focus on child deaths rather than children who have suffered serious harm, according to a government review of SCRs over the past seven years.

Full story: Community Care

Spending review analysis: Future unclear for children's social care

Now the comprehensive spending review guillotine has fallen, the messy chopping up what's left with tiny local axes has begun.

Full story: Community Care

Couples bid to overturn gay marriage law

A campaign to overturn the bans on gay marriage and heterosexual civil partnerships is to begin next month when eight couples will file applications at British register offices for ceremonies they are presently not allowed to hold.

Full story: The Observer

Children at risk over court fees

Solicitors have warned that local authorities may be deterred from placing vulnerable children into care, following the government’s decision not to scrap the controversial court fees paid by local authorities in care and supervision cases.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

One in ten children born to parents living apart

Nearly one in ten of babies were born to parents living apart last year, according to official figures.

Full story: The Telegraph

Spending Review: Cuts are 'child protection challenge'

Councils will face a challenge to fund child protection services after the spending cuts in England, the Local Government Association has warned.

Full story: BBC News

High thresholds leaving children without social workers

Children are suffering because of increasingly high thresholds in children's social care, a leading professor of social work has claimed.

Full story: Community Care

Child care proceedings fees no longer to be abolished

The government has announced that court fees in child care proceedings will no longer be abolished in April 2011 as previously planned.

Full story: Family Law

72% of British people agree prenups should be recognised

Following yesterday's Supreme Court decision that a prenuptial agreement is binding in the divorce of German heiress Katrin Radmacher, a survey has found that 72% of the population think that prenuptial agreements should be recognised in UK courts.

Full story: Family Law

LSC announces contract extension to 14 December

The Legal Services Commission has announced that all current ‘family only’ and ‘family with housing’ legal aid contracts will be extended until 14 December, following the Law Society’s successful judicial review of the tender process.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Pre-nuptial agreements recognised as German heiress wins fight to keep fortune

Pre-nuptial agreements have effectively been given offical status in British law after a German heiress won a landmark ruling to withhold the vast majority of her £100 million fortune from her ex-husband.

Full story: The Telegraph

Prenup ruling could lead to exploitation of vulnerable

Supreme court ruling could result in the vulnerable and financially weaker party feeling compelled to sign prenups.

Full story: The Guardian

Ministry of Justice budget cut by 23%

The chancellor George Osborne has announced in the government's spending review that the Ministry of Justice's budget will be cut by 23% from around £9.5 billion to £7 billion over four years.

Full story: Family Law

Justice budget will fall to £7bn in four years

The Ministry of Justice will see its budget cut by £2.5bn over the next four years, the chancellor George Osborne announced in the government’s spending review this afternoon.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Prenup business on brink of a boom

A landmark decision to uphold a prenuptial agreement may spur more couples to protect their assets before exchanging vows.

Full story: The Guardian

Pre-nup judgment a “major step forward”

Today’s historic judgment on the status of pre-nuptial agreements is a victory for fairness and common sense, 5,500 strong family lawyers’ association Resolution has said today.

Full story: Resolution

German heiress: legal implications of pre-nuptial ruling

The victory of Katrin Radmacher, a German heiress, in her pre-nuptial agreement court battle has created a "rich man's charter" in divorce cases, lawyers claim.

Full story: The Telegraph

Supreme Court upholds Court of Appeal decision in Radmacher

In Radmacher (formerly Granatino) v Granatino [2010] UKSC 42 the Supreme Court has decided by a majority (Lady Hale dissenting) that the Court of Appeal was correct to hold the husband to the pre-nuptial agreement made by the parties.

Full story: Family Law Week

Supreme Court finds in favour of prenuptial contracts in Radmacher

The Supreme Court has found in favour of Katrin Radmacher and held that the Court of Appeal was correct in allowing the enforcement of a prenuptial agreement.

Full story: Family Law

Supreme Court rules in favour of pre-nuptial agreement

The UK Supreme Court has ruled that a pre-nuptial agreement is binding in the case of a German paper company heiress.

Full story: BBC News

Celebrity divorces and pre-nups cheapen marriage says bishop

Multi-million pound celebrity divorces and pre-nuptial agreements threaten to “cheapen” the institution of marriage, a leading bishop has warned.

Full story: The Telegraph

New guidance on how to better support children in care

Improved access to mental health services should be made available as standard practice for children and young people in care, according to new guidance from National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence and Social Care Institute for Excellence.

Full story: Family Law

Prenup agreements may become legally binding in England and Wales

A landmark divorce case could today change the face of British divorce law, with prenuptial agreements finally considered to be legally-binding in England and Wales if the Supreme Court rules against the ex-husband of a German heiress.

Full story: The Guardian

Supreme Court to rule on heiress pre-nuptial agreement

A decision by the Supreme Court later in the divorce case of a German heiress could change the law on pre-nuptial agreements in England and Wales.

Full story: BBC News

What next for the family courts?

In the first of a new series of Law In Action Joshua Rozenberg speaks to the Head of the Family Court Division Sir Nicholas Wall about what the future holds and how the sytem can be changed to help those caught up in it.

Full story: Law in Action

Divorce system debate

Divorce law in England is "unfair, uncertain and expensive", peers have heard.

Full story: BBC

Lords debate reforming divorce laws

On Monday evening the House of Lords debated reforming the laws governing divorce, including prenuptial contracts and no-fault divorce.

Full story: Family Law

Family court media reporting delays 'wise'

The government was wise to defer a decision on whether the media should be able to report family court hearings, according to a senior judge.

Full story: BBC News

Keep warring couples out of court with no-fault marriage break-up say divorce reformers

A review of the divorce system is set to push for the introduction of a system of no-fault marriage break-up.

Full story: Daily Mail

Children in care need better support, guidelines say

Teachers and healthcare and social workers must work together better to improve the lives of children in care, new guidelines say.

Full story: BBC News

Rush to save money threatens family justice

Family law association Resolution has today called for a return to evidence based policymaking on family law and warned against simplistic solutions to the complexities of family breakdown.

Full story: Resolution

Lucy Theis QC appointed to the High Court

The former chairman of the Family Law Bar Association, Lucy Theis QC, has been appointed to be a Justice of the High Court with effect from 15 November 2010.

Full story: Family Law

Court of Appeal ruling safeguards rights for young people leaving care

In the case of R (SO) v London Borough of Barking & Dagenham [2010] EWCA Civ 1101, the Court of Appeal has clarified the duty of local authorities to provide accommodation for young people leaving care at the age of 18 where their welfare requires it.

Full story: Family Law Week

Lawyers to be kept out of divorce battles

Lawyers will be kept out of thousands of family dispute cases every year in a shake-up of divorce laws.

Full story: The Telegraph

Landmark ruling for prenups in battle of multimillionaire heiress and her ex

Financial agreements made before marriage are binding in Europe but not in England. A court ruling is likely to change that this week.

Full story: The Observer

Divorce battle over offshore assets to be used as a test case in Appeal Court

A costly divorce battle brought by the wife of a wealthy City trader who is demanding a share of his alleged offshore assets has been referred to the Appeal Court as a test case.

Full story: The Telegraph

Sir Nicholas Wall says family judges were slow to tackle domestic abuse

The President of the Family Division has said in a speech given to a Resolution conference on domestic abuse that family judges focused too much on the future of relationships instead of investigating allegations of domestic abuse.

Full story: Family Law

One in ten men would hide assets from partner in divorce

At least one in 10 men would attempt to hide their assets from their ex-partners to avoid having to surrender 50 per cent in court, according to a survey.

Full story: The Telegraph

Family lawyers await LSC appeal move

Uncertainty mounted over the future of family legal aid contracts this week, as solicitors await a decision by the Legal Services Commission on whether it will appeal a High Court ruling that its tender process was unlawful.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Sir Nicholas Wall, President Family Division delivers keynote address at domestic abuse conference

Keynote address by the President for the National Resolution Domestic Abuse Conference.

Full story: Resolution

Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission to be scrapped

The government has announced this morning that the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is amongst 192 quangos that are to be scrapped.

Full story: Family Law

Forced mediation 'may not serve interests of children'

Family solicitors have warned that government plans to divert private law disputes over children away from the courts and towards mediation may not lead to child-focused outcomes.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Heiress sacks Vardag for Farrers ahead of Supreme Court ruling

Farrer & Co, the firm that acted for Prince Charles in his divorce from Princess Diana and more recently for Sir Paul McCartney against Heather Mills, will be appearing at the Supreme Court as lawyers for Katrin Radmacher next week.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Senior family court judges back Cafcass at MPs' inquiry

Two of the country's top family judges have backed Cafcass, with reservations, claiming there has been no deterioration in the quality of children's guardian reports despite the increase in public law care applications.

Full story: Community Care

Top family judge warns of longer care proceedings delays

Britain's top family judge has warned of even longer delays in care proceedings if the government fails to fully resource the family courts and children's services.

Full story: Community Care

Illegal fertility company owners given jail term

Nigel Woodforth and Ricky Gage jailed for nine months, suspended for two years, for providing sperm without a licence.

Full story: The Guardian

Baby P doctor applies to leave medical register

Doctor accused of failing to spot Baby P's abuse days before his death is seeking to have name removed from the medical register.

Full story: The Guardian

No further media access before Family Justice Review is completed

Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly has stated that the government has decided to wait until the Family Justice Review has published its final report before determining whether to allow more media access to family courts.

Full story: Family Law

Fallout from benefits cuts set to land on social workers

The chancellor's announcement last week of a benefits cap could see children's services in some areas swamped with new cases, experts are warning.

Full story: Community Care

Justice Minister issues statement about reporting of family proceedings

Commencement of Part 2 of the Children, Schools and Families Act 2010 to await Family Justice Review.

Full story: Family Law Week

70% of social workers have been unable to protect children because of job constraints

A survey undertaken by the British Association of Social Workers (BASW) has revealed that 70% of social workers have been unable to protect a child because of the constraints of their job.

Full story: Family Law Week

Chancery Lane seeks family contracts extension

The Law Society has called on the Legal Services Commission to extend existing family contracts until April 2012, following Chancery Lane’s successful High Court challenge to the family tender process.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Munro's ICS proposal 'unrealistic', says expert

Professor Eileen Munro's suggestion that the Integrated Children's System could be developed to support social work decision-making is unrealistic, according to an ICS expert.

Full story: Community Care

Feuding parents could be refused legal aid unless they mediate

Feuding parents could be refused legal aid in custody battles unless they try mediation first, the justice minister signalled yesterday.

Full story: The Telegraph

Chancery Lane calls for appraisal system for family judges

An appraisal system should be introduced for family judges, so that they can hear feedback on their performance and to reassure the public about the quality of the judiciary, the Law Society has suggested.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Children at risk because of pressure on social workers, research finds

Seven in 10 social workers admit being unable to protect a child because of the constraints of their job.

Full story: The Guardian

Justice Minister takes to the airwaves to promote family mediation

More people should consider mediation rather than going to court to sort out family disputes, Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly has told radio listeners.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Government set to introduce tax break for married couples

The government plans to introduce a tax break for married couples that would partly compensate those losing out from its decision to cut child benefit for higher earners, the Guardian has learned.

Full story: The Guardian

'Arrogant' social worker removed child from carer

A social worker has been branded "arrogant and impetuous" by the General Social Care Council after she removed a child from care against the advice of colleagues.

Full story: Community Care

US House of Representatives calls on Japan to address child abductions

The US House of Representatives has passed a resolution calling on the Government of Japan to address the problem of abduction of US citizen children in Japan.

Full story: Family Law

Part one of the Munro Review published

Professor Eileen Munro has published the first part of her review of how to remove the barriers and bureaucracy in child protection services.

Full story: Family Law

Parents need maintenance help

Social workers, midwives and early years professionals should play a key role in helping separating families sort out child maintenance arrangements, according to the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Social workers encouraged by Munro review, says Loughton

The first instalment of Professor Eileen Munro's review has "struck a chord" with frontline social workers, according to children's minister Tim Loughton.

Full story: Community Care

Professor Munro sets out initial analysis of child protection system

Professor Eileen Munro has set out her initial analysis on the child protection system in England. She has found that processes and procedures, and the unintentional consequences of previous reforms, are getting in the way of social workers spending time with vulnerable children and families.

Full story: Family Law Week

New study shows strong support in favour of including cohabitants on intestacy

Study anticipates Law Commission report on intestacy and family provision.

Full story: Family Law Week

Child benefit to be withdrawn from middle classes

Child benefit will be withdrawn from higher-rate taxpayers, George Osborne has announced, in a move designed to save a billion pounds a year.

Full story: The Telegraph

LSC hit by £300,000 legal bill over tender

The Legal Services Commission faces a £300,000 bill for the Law Society’s legal costs, after losing a High Court battle over its family tender process.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Long delays by adoption agencies result in adopted people and birth families taking ‘unacceptable risks’

Almost one in five adopted people and birth families have waited 6 months or more for information about their birth relatives from professional adoption tracing agencies.

Full story: Family Law Week

Child protection referrals rise by 6 per cent in 2009/10

Statistics released last week show that in 2009/10, there were 13,523 child protection referrals (an increase of 6% compared with 2008/09), of which 4,660 (34% of all child protection referrals) resulted in an inter-agency case conference (compared with 37% in 2008/09).

Full story: Family Law Week

Children in care rise by 6 per cent in year to March 2010

There were 64,400 looked after children as at 31 March 2010, an increase of 6 per cent from 2009 and an increase of 7 per cent since 2006.

Full story: Family Law Week

President emphasises the importance of new joint agreement with Cafcass

Cafcass and the President of the Family Division have extended temporary case allocation procedures for another year.

Full story: Family Law

Munro: Ofsted needs to take on board social workers' views

Ofsted inspections need to incorporate the views of service users and give more voice to social workers on the frontline, according to Professor Eileen Munro.

Full story: Community Care

Munro report welcomed but little mention of thresholds

Sector leaders have welcomed Professor Eileen Munro’s first report identifying the problems within child protection but an expert has criticised her failure to tackle the issue of thresholds.

Full story: Community Care

LSC may appeal legal aid ruling

Following the High Court's decision yesterday to quash the outcome of the Legal Services Commission's tender round for new family legal aid contracts, the chair of the LSC, Sir Bill Callaghan, has said they are considering appealing the decision.

Full story: Family Law

Serious case reviews should look at good practice, says Munro

Serious case reviews should also look at good practice as the current system does not support a learning culture, Professor Eileen Munro said today.

Full story: Community Care

Resolution strikes warning note on family legal aid victory

The family legal aid tendering round was “unfair, unlawful and irrational”, the High Court has ruled. The Law Society is celebrating the result. Resolution chair David Allison, however, said the ruling made him “concerned about the future”.

Full story: New Law Journal

Munro review: social workers fail children due to focus on rules

Social workers are failing to meet the needs of children because they are too focused on complying with regulations and meeting targets, according to the first instalment of Professor Eileen Munro's review of children's social services in England, published today.

Full story: Community Care

Rise in children in care since Baby P

The number of children in care has dramatically risen following the death of Baby Peter, official statistics showed yesterday.

Full story: The Independent

Child services leaders warn of cuts 'perfect storm'

Child protection services leaders in England are warning of a "perfect storm", with expected funding cuts coming as numbers of referrals rise.

Full story: BBC News

Law Society wins family tender challenge

The Law Society has won its High Court challenge to the Legal Services Commission’s family tender process.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Law Society wins judicial review over family legal aid tender

The Law Society has won its judicial review over the family legal aid tender after the High Court decided to quash the outcome of the tender round for new family legal aid contracts.

Full story: Family Law

Interim Cafcass guidance extended another year

Temporary measures which permitted family courts body Cafcass to allocate cases to teams of duty guardians are to be extended for another year until October 2011.

Full story: Community Care

Family justice review chair David Norgrove: 'we can't go on like this'

An "institutionalised lack of trust" in local authority social work and a tendency for professionals to blame each other are among the early concerns identified by the family justice review.

Full story: Community Care

Number of children in care rises by 6%

The number of looked-after children in England has risen by 6% (64, 400) since last year, new statistics from the Department for Education show.

Full story: Community Care

Child protection services becoming 'overwhelmed'

Association of Directors of Children's Services survey finds 52% increase in number of children referred to social workers.

Full story: The Guardian

Revised guidance on communicating with the Home Office

The President of the Family Division has issued revised guidance on communicating with the Home Office in family proceedings.

Full story: Family Law

Council to pay after wrongful care bid for children

Coventry City Council has been ordered to pay £100,000 towards parents' court costs after it tried to put three of their children into care.

Full story: BBC News

Public Law Children cases fall in second quarter of 2010

Statistics published by the Ministry of Justice show that in the second quarter of 2010 there were 6,100 children involved in public law applications, a slight drop from the 6,600 involved in the equivalent period for 2009.

Full story: Family Law Week

Surge in judges ordering parenting classes

The number of warring parents being ordered by judges to attend parenting classes has tripled to 3,000 in five months, the Gazette has learned.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Thousands more children referred to social services in recent years

Thousands more Welsh children are being referred to social services than they were two years ago.

Full story: WalesOnline

UK Border Agency turns down requests for non-EU social workers

The temporary immigration cap is preventing councils from addressing their social worker shortages with non-EU workers.

Full story: The Guardian

US Matrimonial Lawyers see rise in prenuptial agreements

In a recent survey of members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 73% of divorce attorneys reported an increase in prenuptial agreements during the past five years.

Full story: Family Law Week

Future of Cafcass, Children’s Commissioner and even Supreme Court under review

A list of quangos leaked to and published by the Daily Telegraph last week names 177 bodies which are to be abolished, 129 which are to be consolidated or merged and a further 94 still under review.

Full story: Family Law Week

Children’s Rights Alliance publishes minimum requirements for new office of Children's Rights Commissioner

Based on the framework advocated by 130+ non-governmental organisations in 2001, these new minimum requirements were developed by many of the country's leading children's charities.

Full story: Family Law Week

Cafcass says parenting classes help warring parents to put their children first

Following the criticism by Sir Nicholas Wall, President of the Family Division, of the damage caused by separating parents to their children through their ongoing contact and residence disputes, Cafcass has drawn attention to the assistance offered by court-ordered Separated Parents Information Programmes.

Full story: Family Law Week

Birmingham council ordered to improve child protection

Birmingham City Council is to be issued with a second government Improvement Notice, after a critical Ofsted report into children's services in July.

Full story: BBC News

Cafcass seeks stability as government reviews its future

Cafcass has pledged that it is "business as usual" after being listed as one of several public bodies whose future is under review by government.

Full story: Community Care

LSC puts its case in family judicial review

On the second day of the Law Society’s judicial review of the Legal Services Commission’s tender for family legal aid work, counsel for the LSC today told the High Court that it should have been ‘obvious’ to solicitors that panel membership was going to be an important factor in the bid process.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Social workers thought Baby P's mother 'just needed support'

Social workers believed Baby P's mother was a "caring but inadequate" parent who just needed support, an employment tribunal heard today.

Full story: The Independent

Croydon Council launches social work academy for children and family social workers

Croydon launched one of the first social work academies in the UK yesterday. The Children, Young People and Learners Academy will provide new and experienced social workers with structured training.

Full story: Community Care

ILF to shut and Cafcass under review in bonfire of quangos

The Independent Living Fund will shut while the futures of family courts body Cafcass and the Youth Justice Board are in doubt as part of a government cull of quangos, it has emerged.

Full story: Community Care

Children say social workers lack respect, finds the children's commissioner

Social workers too often fail to communicate well with children or show them respect, the Office of the Children's Commissioner has claimed.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Law Society puts legal aid tender case to the High Court

The Law Society warned that the Legal Services Commission’s family tender process will restrict access to justice for victims of domestic abuse, forced marriage and children, as its judicial review of the tender process began in the High Court today.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Senior Lib Dem accuses government over child protection

A leading Liberal Democrat children's spokesperson has accused the coalition of radically changing child protection policy without considering its impact.

Full story: Community Care

Legal aid: judicial review update

The High Court yesterday unexpectedly postponed the hearing of the Law Society's expedited judicial review application by two days.

Full story: The Law Society

Call for Evidence - Family Justice Review

The Call for Evidence for the Family Justice Review closes on 30 September - so just a few days left for people to provide feedback about the way the system can be improved.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Clegg to discuss same-sex marriages with Cameron

Liberal Democrat demands for gay marriage to be legalised opened up a fresh rift with the party's Tory coalition partners last night.

Full story: The Independent

Baby Peter pair disciplinary probe 'flawed'‎

Two social workers involved in the care of Baby Peter escaped the sack after a "deeply flawed" disciplinary process, an employment tribunal has heard.

Full story: BBC News

Cafcass highlights benefits of parenting classes

Following a speech in which Sir Nicholas Wall warned that separating parents risk damaging their children through their ongoing contact and residence disputes, Cafcass has highlighted the benefits of court-ordered Separated Parents Information Programmes.

Full story: Family Law

Lib Dems call for end to barriers to gay marriage

Lib Dem members have urged ministers to recognise gay marriage as a "distinctly liberal" step to a more equal society.

Full story: BBC News

High Court judge warns parents not to describe ex-partners as 'ogres'

Parents who separate must not describe their estranged partners as “ogres” to their children, one of Britain’s most senior judges has warned.

Full story: The Telegraph

Children 'used as ammunition' in separations

Parents who split up are damaging children's welfare by using them as 'ammunition', according to a senior court judge.

Full story: The Guardian

President warns legal aid in private law proceedings could be abolished

The President of the Family Division, Sir Nicholas Wall, has warned that legal aid for private law proceedings may be abolished as an outcome of the Family Justice Review.

Full story: Family Law

Baby P social workers claim unfair dismissal

Two social workers sacked over the Baby P tragedy took their former employer to an employment tribunal today.

Full story: The Independent

DfE to boost spread of GP-style social work practices

Independent social work practices for children in care will be piloted more widely as part of the government's Big Society agenda, the Department for Education has revealed.

Full story: Community Care

Baby P clinic doctor Kim Holt to sue NHS

A doctor who raised concerns about the clinic where Baby P was seen days before his death is suing the NHS, claiming she was forced out of her job.

Full story: BBC News

Courts should be a last resort says minister

Minister Jonathan Djanogly has said that more use should be made of mediation as an alternative to using courts in civil and family justice disputes.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Legal aid tender exercise: judicial review update

The Law Society reports that the Legal Services Commission has not accepted the Society's proposed terms of reference for an immediate nationwide review of the tender outcome and its impact on access to justice.

Full story: Family Law Week

Deputy Children's Commissioner welcomes decision to revisit measures on media access to family courts

Sue Berelowitz, Deputy Children's Commissioner for England, has welcomed the Ministry of Justice decision to look again at the measures in the Children, Schools and Families Act 2010 that would allow journalists to report more widely on family court proceedings.

Full story: Family Law Week

Outcry! expresses concern about government’s wavering on child immigration detention pledge

Following a report by The Guardian that the government plans to dilute its pledge to end the immigration detention of children, Medical Justice has released a report documenting further damaging effects of the practice.

Full story: Family Law Week

Two men convicted for breaching Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act

Two men from Reading, Berkshire, have been convicted today for running a fertility website without a licence, which made sperm available from anonymous donors to women who wanted to conceive.

Full story: Family Law

Peter Jackson QC appointed as a High Court Judge

Following Mrs Justice Black elevation to the Court of Appeal, Peter Jackson QC has been appointed as a High Court Judge with effect from 1 October 2010.

Full story: Family Law

Media access to family courts could be reversed

The Ministry of Justice is planning to review controversial measures passed by the previous government that would allow the media more access to family court cases.

Full story: Community Care

Newspapers complain to MPs about access to family courts

The Newspaper Society has presented a submission to the House of Commons' Justice Select Committee's inquiry into the operation of the family courts, claiming the new Children, Schools & Families Act 2010 will not succeed in delivering greater accountability.

Full story: Family Law

Publishers protest at reporting restrictions in family court cases

The Newspaper Society has complained that the Children, Schools and Families Act has made legal cases covered by the Act less transparent because they are virtually unreportable.

Full story: The Guardian

Haringey's children's services 'improving', says Ofsted

Standards at children's social services at Haringey Council have improved, a snap Ofsted inspection has found.

Full story: BBC News

Solicitors queue up to sue LSC

Pressure is mounting on the Legal Services Commission over its handling of the tender for civil legal aid contracts, as it faces a growing number of judicial review challenges to the process, and talks with the Law Society broke down.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

MoJ to review media reporting in family courts

The Ministry of Justice has told the Gazette that it will not commence legislation that would extend the media’s right to report family cases without ‘looking closely’ at the changes, amid pressure from family lawyers.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Government denies serious case review U-turn

The government may have to retract its promise to retrospectively publish four serious case reviews in full, as one of these reviews might put surviving siblings at risk, children's minister Tim Loughton has admitted.

Full story: Community Care

Welsh safeguarding project to embed consultant social workers

Consultant social workers in multi-agency teams are set to be embedded in children's services in Wales with the launch today of a safeguarding project.

Full story: Community Care

ContactPoint replacement may not be IT-based, says Loughton

ContactPoint may not be replaced by a computerised system, children's minister Tim Loughton said today.

Full story: Community Care