Migrant domestic violence support scheme extended

A scheme to help migrants forced to leave relationships as a result of domestic violence is being made permanent, the Home Office has said.

Full story: BBC News

Forced marriage: Girl aged five among 400 minors helped

A five-year-old girl is thought to have become the UK's youngest victim of forced marriage.

Full story: BBC News

Fear over plans to "slaughter" child protection guidance

Ministers are planning to "slaughter" key child safeguarding guidance as part of measures to tackle bureaucracy in children's services, Community Care understands.

Full story: Community Care

Foster carers raise concerns about pay and handling of allegations

Pay and allegations were the main topics of discussion at the National Forum of Foster Care Associations on Friday 23 March.

Full story: Family Law Week

Liz Edwards elected new Chair of Resolution

Liz Edwards, a partner with South East London practice Amphlett Lissimore, has been elected as the new Chair of Resolution.

Full story: Family Law Week

City worker wins appeal over separation payout to gay actor

A City high-flier unhappy at the way a High Court judge divided assets after his civil partnership ended won an appeal today.

Full story: The Telegraph

Elderly woman didn’t give 'true consent' to care home move

An elderly woman bullied by her son into moving into a care home had not given valid consent to the decision, the Court of Appeal has ruled.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Lords reject proposals to replace legal aid for children with CFAs

The government suffered another battering over the legal aid bill in the lords this afternoon as peers endorsed a series of amendments to bring all children cases back into scope.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Local authorities not supporting kinship carers, new study reveals

Local authorities are failing to implement central government policy to support kinship carers, according to new research from advice charity Family Rights Group.

Full story: Family Law

'No good arguments against no fault divorce', top judge says

Britain's leading family law judge, Sir Nicholas Wall, has renewed calls for "no fault divorce", which could see couples granted quick legal separation without one party accepting the blame.

Full story: The Telegraph

Policewoman appeals husband’s attempt to divorce her 'over a washing machine'

A tearful policewoman has appealed against her husband’s attempt to divorce her on “trivial” grounds including rows over a washing machine and a TV aerial.

Full story: The Telegraph

Sixty per cent of families report serious violence in the home

Six out of 10 UK families with children experience serious or frequent conflict, according to a survey by 4Children.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Shackleton faces negligence claim from former client

Payne Hicks Beach is being sued by a client who claims a mistake by Britain’s highest-profile divorce lawyer Fiona Shackleton cost him £250,000.

Full story: The Lawyer

Domestic violence affects one million children in the UK

Almost a million children in Britain are affected by domestic violence, either as victims or witnesses, a new study will reveal tomorrow.

Full story: The Independent

Pensions Ombudsman finds against company that delayed in implementing pension sharing order

The Pensions Ombudsman has upheld a complaint against a pension provider which failed to implement a pension sharing order made in financial remedy proceedings.

Full story: Family Law Week

Ofsted marks Social Work Day by emphasising the need for better support on ‘the front line’

To mark World Social Work Day on 20 March Ofsted has highlighted a survey report, produced in February, which explores the link between the quality of support that social workers receive and the difference they are able to make to improve children's lives.

Full story: Family Law Week

NSPCC fears delays over child abuse calls

Most people wait over a month to report concerns over suspected child abuse, figures from the NSPCC suggest.

Full story: BBC News

Children’s Commissioner for Wales’ first review uncovers failings in advocacy provision

Some of Wales' most vulnerable children and young people are unaware of their statutory right to an independent professional advocate due to a system without a clear set of checks and balances, according to the Children's Commissioner for Wales, Keith Towler.

Full story: Family Law Week

Child poverty still expected to rise by 100,000 per year, says CPAG

Children’s charities fear the Budget’s impact on poorer families.

Full story: Family Law Week

Child benefit cliff-edge tackled

Government plans to withdraw child benefit from parents who earn higher levels of income have been altered.

Full story: BBC News

Social workers sanctioned for child protection mistakes

Two social workers have been sanctioned by the General Social Care Council for mistakes they made in a child protection case that saw a baby left with permanent brain damage.

Full story: Community Care

Campaigners call for new homicide law for inciting suicide

Growing concerns about the failure of police to properly investigate cases of women who have killed themselves after violence or abuse have led to a campaign for a new homicide law of "suicide aggravated by harassment or violence".

Full story: The Guardian

Calls for Chancellor to avoid 'Break-up Budget'

The Family and Parenting Institute has called on the Chancellor to avoid delivering a "Break-Up Budget" on Wednesday that could threaten the stability of family life.

Full story: Family Law

Update on the work, funding and success of the Family Drug and Alcohol Court

BBC’s “Law in Action” programme examines the innovative approach and impact of the FDAC in children cases involving parental substance abuse.

Full story: Family Law Week

Parliamentary groups launch inquiry into children who go missing from care

Two influential groups of parliamentarians have joined forces to launch an inquiry into the care and support provided for the thousands of children who run away or go missing from care every year.

Full story: Family Law Week

Court of Appeal decides that lower court plainly wrong not to allow a biological father staying contact for the foreseeable future

Case raises "important issues relating to the courts’ approach to children born into ‘alternative families’”.

Full story: Family Law Week

Union warns of 'dangerous trends' in domestic violence rehabilitation

Effective and proven interventions being replaced by untested, shorter and cheaper alternatives, according to survey.

Full story: The Guardian

Care leavers’ further and higher education opportunities damaged by the whims of localism, says report

Research published by The Who Cares? Trust reveals that key Government policies intended to support looked-after children's participation in further and higher education are failing to make an impact because a fragmentary, localist approach has confused young people and the professionals who work with them.

Full story: Family Law Week

Wales faces radical shake-up of social work regulation

The proposed Social Services (Wales) Bill promises a radical shake up of social services in Wales.

Full story: Community Care

Supreme Court rules on return of child under Hague Convention

The Supreme Court has reversed a Court of Appeal decision and reinstated a first instance judgment which declined to order a return of a child to Australia under the Hague Convention.

Full story: Family Law

Gay marriage consultation greeted with suspicion on both sides

Equal rights campaigners and church leaders uneasy as government steps up plans to allow gay couples to marry.

Full story: The Guardian

Landmark move towards same-sex marriage a step closer

The Home Office today launched a consultation on how to allow everyone to have a civil marriage.

Full story: Home Office

PM's adoption reform prompts warning

Lawyers have welcomed the prime minister’s proposal for legislation to speed up the adoption process, but warned that changes could lead to increased legal challenges.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Government to unveil consultation plans for equal marriage in England and Wales tomorrow

Consultation plans for the UK government’s introduction of civil marriage equality for gay couples are expected to be unveiled tomorrow.

Full story: Pink News

Research evaluates expert witnesses and quality of court reports in the family courts

Report expresses concern about full-time 'expert' witnesses who do not maintain a clinical practice.

Full story: Family Law Week

Adoption organisations welcome publication of Action Plan

Welcome is combined with calls for further improvements to system.

Full story: Family Law Week

Three-parent families may be as good as two, judges rule

Three-parent families may be as good as two, top judges have ruled as they backed a gay father in his ground-breaking contact dispute with the lesbian mothers of his two year-old son.

Full story: The Telegraph

Action plan sets out radical overhaul of adoption system

The Government today published an Action Plan for Adoption to overhaul the system for prospective adopters and strengthen the performance regime for local authorities.

Full story: Department for Education

Supreme Court allows mother’s appeal in S (A Child) Hague Convention case

Judgment as to the level of risk in respect of Art 13(b) defence is one for the judge at first instance.

Full story: Family Law Week

Local authorities to have score cards for adoption

Local authorities are to be issued score cards to measure how quickly they place children for adoption.

Full story: BBC News

'Strip absent fathers' of benefits

Unemployed absent fathers who refuse to take up work experience offers should be stripped of their benefits, a report has recommended.

Full story: Press Association

Marriage is best for raising children, Government says

It is better for children to be raised by two parents than one, and better still when those parents are married, the Government will declare today.

Full story: The Telegraph

Tasks to be reserved for social workers in legal shake-up

Key social services tasks will be reserved for social workers under plans to overhaul the law in Wales, announced today.

Full story: Community Care

Young victims of domestic abuse to be offered Relate counselling in North Yorkshire

A counselling service for young people who have witnessed or experienced domestic violence or abuse is being set up in North Yorkshire.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Children leaving care say they are 'poorly prepared' for adult life

Survey finds almost half think they are made to leave care too early, but 61% feel time in care has improved their lives.

Full story: The Guardian

Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims (Amendment) Act 2012

An Act to amend section 5 of the Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act 2004 to include serious harm to a child or vulnerable adult; to make consequential amendments to the Act; and for connected purposes.

Full Act: legislation.gov.uk

Tri-borough councils reveal plans to speed up care proceedings

Three London boroughs are to trial a new approach to managing care proceedings in a bid to speed up the time it takes for decisions on children's futures to be made.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Adoption: David Cameron says 'young lives wasted' by delays

The Prime Minister will vow to tackle "absurd barriers to mixed-race adoption", when he sets out proposals to speed up adoptions in England later.

Full story: BBC News

Partnership split ruling disputed

A star of London's West End and a City high-flier have been embroiled in what is believed to be the first legal battle over the division of assets following the break-up of a civil partnership.

Full story: Press Association

The Child Support (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2012

These Regulations amend the Child Support (Collection and Enforcement) Regulations 1992, the Child Support (Maintenance Assessment Procedure) Regulations 1992, the Child Support (Maintenance Assessment and Special Cases) Regulations 1992, the Child Support (Maintenance Calculations and Special Cases) Regulations 2000 and the Child Support (Management of Payments and Arrears) Regulations 2009.

Statutory Instrument

Women’s Aid marks International Women’s Day by emphasising the worrying state of refuge provision

2011 Global Data Count provides snapshot of women’s shelter services.

Full story: Family Law Week

The Family Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2012

These Rules amend the Family Procedure Rules 2010.

Statutory Instrument

Ofsted inspectors to look at adoption breakdowns

Social work teams will be inspected on how many adoptions break down in their authority under Ofsted’s new inspection framework, Community Care has learnt.

Full story: Community Care

The Family Justice Modernisation Programme

Third Update from Mr Justice Ryder.

Full story: Judiciary of England and Wales

Charities voice concerns that legal changes will harm children

Six major children's charities have joined together to voice concerns that children will be denied access to justice in proposed changes to legal aid.

Full story: Family Law Week

Resolution responds to amendment to LASPO Bill

Last night (5th March), Peers in the House of Lords voted through an amendment to the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill, which will help ensure that victims of domestic violence continue to receive legal aid on issues around divorce or separation, by extending the evidential criteria required to demonstrate that domestic violence has taken place.

Full story: Resolution

Miliband gives his backing to same-sex marriages

Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, gave his full support to the legalisation of gay marriage as opponents stepped up their resistance to the proposal.

Full story: The Independent

Legal aid bill defeated in Lords

Peers vote against a series of government proposals, including restrictions on legal support for victims of domestic violence.

Full story: The Guardian

'Clare's Law' plans condemned

Government plans to give people the right to ask police about a partner's history were condemned as a waste of money by a leading domestic violence charity today.

Full story: The Independent

National roll-out of 'Clare's Law' disclosure scheme delayed

The home secretary, Theresa May, has delayed the national roll-out of "Clare's Law", a scheme under which people would be able to ask the police if their partners have a history of domestic violence.

Full story: The Guardian

Women and children could die because of legal aid cuts says former attorney general

Women and children could die as a result of the Government’s legal aid cuts, warns a former attorney general, who will today make a last-ditch attempt to overturn the changes in the House of Lords.

Full story: The Independent

NHS changes may increase risks to vulnerable children, warn trusts

The government's NHS reform bill could increase the dangers facing vulnerable children, according to a survey of the risk assessments produced by primary care trusts in response to the legislation.

Full story: The Guardian

Legal aid bill fails domestic abuse victims, faith leaders warn

Sharply worded letter to Ken Clarke says that reforms could leave victims trapped in cycle of mistreatment and fear.

Full story: The Guardian

Outcry at betrayal of domestic violence victims

Women's lives are being put at risk as the spending squeeze cuts deep into the help offered to victims of domestic violence, campaigners warned last night.

Full story: The Independent

Legal Aid Bill: Lords starts report stage

The House of Lords begins report stage of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill with more detailed examination on Monday 5 March.

Full story: UK Parliament

Women win get right to know violent past of partner

Women are to be given the right to ask police whether their partner had a history of domestic violence, under plans to be unveiled next week.

Full story: The Telegraph

The Pension Protection Fund and Occupational Pension Schemes (Levy Ceiling and Compensation Cap) Order 2012

This Order, which came into effect on 29 February 2012, specifies the levy ceiling (articles 2 and 3) and the amount of the compensation cap (article 4) for use in relation to the Pension Protection Fund in the financial year beginning on 1 April 2012.

Statutory Instrument: Family Law

Communicating with the Home Office in family proceedings- Revised Amalgamated Guidance

The ‘Communicating with the Home Office in Family Proceedings' protocol enables the family courts to communicate with the Home Office (UK Borders Agency and Identity and Passport Service) to obtain immigration, visa and passport information for family court proceedings.

Practice Guidance: Family Law

ALC publishes an analysis of problems caused by Legal Aid Bill for UK child abduction cases

The Association of Lawyers for Children has published an analysis of the application of the current provisions within the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill to child abduction cases within the UK.

Full story: Family Law Week

Law Commission examines regulation of social workers in England

In a consultation opening on the 1st March, the Law Commissions of England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are seeking views on the regulation of health care professionals in the UK and social workers in England.

Full story: Family Law Week

Resolution statement on Government amendments to Legal Aid Bill

As the Government’s Legal Aid and Sentencing Bill enters Report Stage in the House of Lords (on Monday) the Government has accepted calls to adopt the police’s widely used definition of what constitutes domestic violence.

Full story: Resolution