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