Education Select Committee to examine destitution among asylum-seeking, migrant children

Children’s Society welcomes evidence session and calls for urgent action.

Full story: Family Law Week

NSPCC applauds closure of loophole in child protection legislation

The Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims (Amendment) Act 2012 comes into force on Monday, 2 July 2012.

Full story: Family Law Week

New legislation to close child abuse loophole

People accused of seriously abusing children or vulnerable adults who try to escape justice by staying silent or blaming someone else will face up to 10 years in prison from Monday, Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke will announce today.

Full story: Family Law

Domestic violence campaigners accuse Olympic organisers of ignoring issue

A coalition of campaigners to end violence against women has accused the organisers of London 2012 of reneging on a promise to raise awareness of the issue during the Olympics.

Full story: The Guardian

Family bar chief calls for divorce law reform

Divorce laws should be reformed to provide a default regime for the division of assets when relationships break down, the chief of the family bar has suggested.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

The Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 (Commencement No. 8) Order 2012

This Order brings into force sub-paragraphs (22)(b) and (23) of paragraph 1 of Schedule 7 (minor and consequential amendments) to the Child Maintenance and Other Payments Act 2008 (c. 6) on 27th June 2012.

Statutory Instrument

Adoptive families left in the dark

First-ever survey of adopters reveals that they are made to feel like 'second-class parents' by adoption support services.

Full story: The Guardian

‘Inquisitorial’ hearings planned for family litigants-in-person

Judges will adopt an inquisitorial approach to family cases, limiting cross-examination by the parties themselves, to deal with the increasing number of litigants-in-person, the judge in charge of family court modernisation has indicated.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Quarter of children's homes rated outstanding by Ofsted

Provisional data published by Ofsted reveals levels of progress across residential care, fostering and adoption in first quarter of 2012.

Full story: Community Care

Ryder J warns of restrictions on cross-examination at family courts

Mr Justice Ryder has warned that restrictions on cross-examination by litigants in person may be needed if the family courts are to cope with the impact of next year’s legal aid cuts.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Judge urges review of cases where children under unsuccessful freeing orders

A High Court judge has called for a nationwide review of cases where children remain under unsuccessful freeing orders or placement orders, after concluding that a council breached the human rights of two teenagers.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Talking About Reform

Speech by Mr Justice Ryder, Judge in Charge of the Modernisation of Family Justice: Public Child Care Law Conference.

Full story: Judiciary of England and Wales

Lancashire County Council 'failed to protect brothers'

Two teenage brothers who were abused while living in care are to sue Lancashire County Council after a judge ruled they had been mistreated.

Full story: BBC News

NSPCC guidance outlines how to prevent neglect in young children

The NSPCC is urging practitioners to look out for the signs of neglect and emotional abuse in babies and pre-school aged children.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Minister unveils Innovation Fund to pioneer new support services for separating parents

The Government is taking radical steps to promote collaborative parenting in separated families. A fund, worth up to £14 million over two years, is being established to develop effective and innovative support services for separated and separating families.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Divorcing couples to use 'divorce app' during separations

Warring couples could be given a “divorce app” to help them through the painful process of separation, under multi-million pound government plans.

Full story: The Telegraph

Government pledges to publish urgent ‘next steps’ in response to APPG report on children missing from care

In the wake of the APPG report into children who go missing from care, Children's Minister Tim Loughton acknowledged that the report highlights serious weaknesses in the current system.

Full story: Family Law Week

Primary care based intervention for women experiencing domestic violence probably cost-effective, says new study

A programme of training and support for GPs, practice nurses and GP receptionists to improve the response of primary care to women experiencing domestic violence could be cost-effective, according to new research.

Full story: Family Law Week

Lambeth withdraws eligibility criteria for children in need

A mother and her two autistic children have successfully settled judicial review proceedings which challenged Lambeth Council's eligibility criteria introduced by Lambeth Council.

Full story: Family Law Week

Divorce woman wins house-move fight

A woman embroiled in a divorce fight is celebrating after overturning a court ban which prevented her from moving house.

Full story: The Press Association

Outcry over family court closure plan

A group of 160 leading family lawyers and social workers has written to senior judges raising concerns over the proposed closure of a court rated a ‘centre of excellence’.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Lawyers slam shared parenting plan

Lawyers have described government plans to introduce a legal presumption of shared parenting after relationship breakdown as ‘unnecessary political posturing’ that could detract from children’s wellbeing.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Gay marriage will be pushed through Parliament, says Nick Clegg

Gay marriage will be pushed through however heated the debate becomes, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg warned critics of the reform.

Full story: The Independent

All Party Parliamentary inquiry report into children missing from care – Government response

This report goes right to the heart of some serious weaknesses in the current system, which leave far too many of the most vulnerable children in society exposed to harm and danger.

Full story: Department for Education

'Weaknesses' in how children's homes help runaways revealed

"Serious weaknesses" in England's care system have been revealed by a report which found children's homes failed to protect runaways, the children's minister says.

Full story: BBC News

Fathers could be forced to be named on birth certificates

Fathers could be forced by law to be named on their baby’s birth certificate under plans being drawn up by ministers to boost their role in family life.

Full story: The Telegraph

Final Social Work Reform Board report published today

The social work profession is more confident and more focused on improving outcomes for the most vulnerable, Chair of the Social Work Reform Board Moira Gibb said in her final report published today.

Full story: Department for Education

New health and social care system must protect rights of people detained under Mental Health Act

Report by Mental Health Alliance reviews operation of the 2007 Act.

Full story: Family Law Week

Children’s Minister clarifies nature of proposals for shared parenting after divorce

Minister writes to The Times to deny the creation of ‘right of artificial equality of time’.

Full story: Family Law Week

Social work reforms have ‘raised the confidence’ of profession

The development of a College of Social Work, more robust standards for employers and better supervision of newly qualified social workers is raising the confidence of the profession, according to the final report of the Social Work Reform Board.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Cafcass Board Members Announcement

Honor Rhodes OBE has been appointed to serve as a member of the Cafcass Board from 15 June 2012 for three years. Professor Ian Butler has also been re appointed for a second term from 01 May 2012.

Full story: Department for Education

Kent urges all councils to place looked-after children closer to home

Kent County Council has made a plea to all local authorities to place children in care closer to home, after revealing that 1,267 children are placed in Kent from other parts of the country.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Care applications in May are the highest ever for a single month

972 applications received.

Full story: Family Law Week

The Law Society supports government proposals for same-sex marriage

‘Marriage should be accessible to all,’ says President.

Full story: Family Law Week

The Family Justice Modernisation Programme

Fifth Update from Mr Justice Ryder.

Full story: Judiciary of England and Wales

Children in care at risk MPs warn

The care system is failing to track missing children, leaving them vulnerable to sexual crimes, MPs warn.

Full story: BBC News

Proposals to enable children to see both their parents are launched

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

Full story: Department for Education

Resolution member wins Family Legal Aid award in Legal Aid 'Oscars'

Resolution is pleased to announce that Rachel Horman from Watson Ramsbottom in Blackburn, was crowned Family Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year, at the prestigious Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards, held last night in central London.

Full story: Resolution

Parents' right to see children after divorce will be enshrined in law

Ministers hope to ensure children have meaningful relationships as stiff new penalties are introduced.

Full story: The Independent

Shared parenting presumption in law reform proposal

The government seeks to introduce a legal presumption of ‘shared parenting’ where relationships break down, under proposals outlined today.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Parents' access rights after divorce enshrined in law

Law will confer right to see children after splitting up, but lawyers warn changes 'will clog up the courts'.

Full story: The Guardian

Changes to child protection guidance ‘fail to help social workers’

Government plans to cut child protection bureaucracy will do little to improve support for vulnerable children, according to social workers.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Government defends gay marriage law change plans

Downing Street has defended plans to change the status of civil ceremonies to allow gay and lesbian couples in England and Wales to get married.

Full story: BBC News

Bureaucracy axed to put vulnerable children first

Frontline professionals working to keep children safe from harm will be freed from pointless bureaucracy that has stifled their judgment for too long, under radical plans announced by the Government today.

Full story: Department for Education

Church of England accused of scaremongering over gay marriage

Gay rights campaigners hit back at claims that introducing same-sex marriages could force church out of its wedding role.

Full story: The Guardian

Church of England warning on gay marriage

Government proposals for gay marriage would dilute an institution "vastly" important to a healthy society, the Church of England has warned.

Full story: BBC News

The Family Procedure (Amendment) (No.2) Rules 2012

These rules amend rule 31.17 of the Family Procedure Rules 2010 to give the court a discretion to permit urgent enforcement where necessary to secure a child’s welfare notwithstanding the general position that enforcement is suspended pending expiry of relevant appeal periods.

Statutory Instrument

New support programme for children affected by family breakdown launches this week

a kidspace, a new support programme for children affected by family breakdown, is launched this week.

Full story: Family Law Week

Councils back troubled families scheme

Every eligible council in England is to take part in the government's programme to tackle the problems of "troubled families", ministers have said.

Full story: BBC News

Child neglect cases reported to NSPCC rise 30% in a year

NSPCC fears for already stretched children's services as new figures show sharp increase in cases.

Full story: The Observer

Forced marriage: criminalisation could deter victims, claim charities

Making forced marriage a crime could backfire by deterring young victims from coming forward, it was claimed yesterday.

Full story: The Telegraph

Forced marriage parents face jail under new laws

New laws are to be introduced by the home secretary to jail parents who force their children to marry.

Full story: BBC News

Council fined for serious breaches of sensitive data on children

Telford & Wrekin Council has been issued with a £90,000 fine after revealing sensitive details about vulnerable children and foster carers to the wrong people.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Grandparents threatened with arrest for sending birthday cards to grandchildren

Grandparents are being threatened with arrest for sending their grandchildren birthday cards after a family break-up, campaigners warned yesterday.

Full story: The Telegraph

May plans forced marriage crackdown

Plans to crack down on forced marriage will be announced by Home Secretary Theresa May this week amid speculation that it is to be made a criminal offence.

Full story: The Press Association

The Adoption Agencies (Panel and Consequential Amendments) Regulations 2012

These Regulations amend the Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005, which make provision about the exercise by adoption agencies (that is, local authorities and registered adoption societies) of their functions in relation to adoption under the Adoption and Children Act 2002.

Statutory Instrument

Sexually exploited children are at further risk in care, says Barnardo's

Children who have been sexually exploited and trafficked are being put in further danger because of a dire lack of trained foster carers, a children's charity has warned.

Full story: The Guardian

Applications to the LSC for Prior Authority for Experts

In May 2012, the President of the Family Division issued guidance for solicitors applying to the Legal Services Commission for prior authority for expert costs in certain circumstances.

Practice Guidance: Family Law

Scrap flawed child poverty targets, says the Centre for Social Justice

The Centre for Social Justice has condemned the existing official formula for measuring child poverty as arbitrary and faulty and says that it conveys almost nothing about the suffocating nature of genuine hardship.

Full story: Family Law Week

Couple who broke toddler's legs avoid jail because they are 'hardworking'

A couple who were spared jail after they broke a toddler’s legs, foot and arm will have their sentence reviewed by the Attorney General.

Full story: The Telegraph

Wales care case delays 'damage' children

The time it takes the legal system to permanently remove children from their parents when they are considered "at risk" varies by more than six months in different parts of Wales.

Full story: BBC News

Ex-wife to keep £1.5m home after signature was forged

The divorced wife of a rich developer has been given their £1.5 million home in a settlement after he was branded “untrustworthy” because he forged her signature on a loan application.

Full story: The Telegraph