Holman J judgment starkly illustrates troubling effect of legal aid cuts

Mr Justice Holman has described graphically the practical implications for the family courts of the continuing legal aid cuts.

Full story: Family Law Week

Referrals to family mediation plummet

Referrals to family mediation – the government’s flagship solution to the removal of legal aid and congested courts – have nosedived, according to figures seen by the Gazette.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Daniel Pelka: Child protection boss 'didn't know' of case

The man in charge of child protection in Coventry when Daniel Pelka died has admitted he knew nothing about the case until after the toddler was murdered.

Full story: BBC News

David Cameron unveils marriage tax breaks plan

Plans for some married couples to get tax breaks worth up to £200 a year have been announced by David Cameron.

Full story: BBC News

Gove accepts alternative proposal from Doncaster MBC for children's services

The Education Secretary has scrapped plans to strip children’s services from Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council and accepted the council’s alternative proposal.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Children’s services expenditure by local authorities planned to fall by £234m

The Office for National Statistics has released details of planned expenditure by local authorities on a range of services relating to schools, education, children and young people's services for the financial year April 2013 – March 2014.

Full story: Family Law Week

Government approach to homes for care leavers is failing, says Fostering Network

New Government figures show that the voluntary approach to providing homes for young people in care beyond the age of 18 is not working, according to Fostering Network.

Full story: Family Law Week

Invest in more support care for families in crisis, local authorities urged

Local authorities in the UK should invest in support care schemes as a cost-effective way of supporting families and keeping children out of more expensive full-time care, the Fostering Network is urging.

Full story: Family Law Week

Health watchdog announces launch of targeted child protection inspections

The Care Quality Commission is to launch a dedicated child protection inspection regime of health services in England next week.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Court statistics (quarterly) - April to June 2013

This report presents the latest statistics on type and volume of cases that are received and processed through the court system of England and Wales in the second quarter of 2013 (April to June).

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Adoptions show 'record' increase

Nearly 4,000 children in England were adopted from care in the year to March.

Full story: BBC News

Statistical release: Children looked after in England, including adoption

This statistical first release provides information about looked-after children in England for the year ending 31 March 2013.

Full story: Department for Education

Ofsted unveils inspection framework for children's services

Ofsted is to push ahead with the introduction of a tougher inspection regime for children’s services, ignoring warnings from the sector that the system is too simplistic and will fail to deliver improvements.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Daniel Pelka: New report to look into why child protection workers failed to intervene in tragic case of boy beaten to death

A new report will be published into exactly why child protection workers failed to intervene in the case of a four-year-old beaten to death by his mother and stepfather.

Full story: The Independent

Appeals process changes for DWP benefits and child maintenance

Changing the appeals process so that more decisions that claimants disagree with are resolved without being sent to the Tribunals Service.

Full story: Department for Work & Pensions

Social workers may be targeted online following Munby video footage ruling

The recent landmark ruling by Lord Justice Munby that allowed a father to post a video of social workers removing his baby is worrying news for social workers.

Full story: The Guardian

MEPs call for equal property rights for registered partners and married couples

International couples in registered partnerships should have the same right as married ones to choose which member state's national law will govern their property rights if the relationship ends, the European Parliament has resolved. These rules will not apply to the UK, Denmark or Ireland.

Full story: Family Law Week

Court of Appeal gives important guidance on adoption applications

The Court of Appeal has given important guidance as to the proper approach to applications for adoption orders and for leave to oppose adoption orders.

Full story: Family Law Week

Domestic violence increases during England World Cup football matches

Researchers from Lancaster University have found that domestic abuse increases during England World Cup football matches – especially if the team lose.

Full story: Family Law Week

Social work leaders call for better use of SCRs as learning tools

Reports into child deaths should be changed to allow all child protection professionals to learn lessons from tragedies like the Daniel Pelka case, it has been claimed.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Many councils still 'inadequate' on child protection

One-third of councils previously judged by inspectors to have child protection weaknesses are still failing to meet minimum requirements, figures show.

Full story: BBC News

Daniel Pelka: Ministers shun obligatory scheme for professionals to report abuse concerns

No new legislation needed as it was 'already clear that suspicions should be reported'.

Full story: The Independent

Drive to speed up adoptions means children 'may be removed from parents too quickly'

Britain’s most senior family judge has issued a pointed warning that Michael Gove’s drive to speed up adoptions should not be allowed to break up families unnecessarily.

Full story: The Telegraph

Lib Dem Conference calls for enforceable rights for cohabitants

The Liberal Democrat Conference has passed a motion which calls for "the implementation without delay of proposals giving cohabiting couples fair and reasonable redress upon relationship breakdown and upon intestacy, based upon the proposals made in the Law Commission's 2007 and 2011 reports."

Full story: Family Law Week

Daniel Pelka: Serious case review finds 'missed opportunities'

Chances were missed to help a child who was murdered by his mother and her partner after suffering "terrifying and dreadful" abuse, a report has found.

Full story: BBC News

“Common Law Marriage” myth needs addressing, say MPs

A survey of MPs has revealed that 69% of Parliamentarians agree there is a mistaken belief in the existence of “common law marriage” among their constituents, and that 57% believe the law needs to be changed to provide greater protection for unmarried couples upon separation.

Full story: Resolution

Michael Gove lambasts protection provided by children’s homes

The Secretary of State for Education, Michael Gove, has given a withering assessment of the protection afforded by children's homes in an article published by the Daily Telegraph.

Full story: Family Law Week

Daniel Pelka: Calls For Child Protection Law

Almost 50,000 people have signed a petition calling for new legislation to help protect children from abuse in the wake of Daniel Pelka's murder.

Full story: Yahoo News UK

Lib Dems: Unmarried couples who split should have right to sue

Partners who have lived together for two years to get extra legal rights under proposals backed by Clegg leadership.

Full story: The Independent

Vegetarian mother stopped father seeing son in case he fed him meat

A vegetarian mother who stopped her five year-old son from seeing his father because she feared he might feed him meat must let him see the child or lose custody, a judge ruled.

Full story: The Telegraph

Pilot project reduces duration of care proceedings to 27 weeks

A pilot project to reduce unnecessary delay for children undergoing care proceedings has been largely successful.

Full story: Family Law

Minister acclaims more separated parents than ever paying towards their children

The progress being made in separated parents accepting financial responsibility for their children.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

New £19.3 million support fund for adoptive parents

The government announces new funding to support adoptive families.

Full story: Department for Education

Government announces £19.5m funding for new Adoption Support Fund

Adoptive families in England are to benefit from a new post-adoption support fund, the Department for Education announced today.

Full story: Community Care

Judges back independent social workers' key role in care cases

Oxford University study finds most family court judges believe independent social work reports are of good or excellent quality and prevent delays in care cases.

Full story: Community Care

Marriage 'no longer the foundation stone of family life'

Marriage is no longer the foundation stone of family life in Britain, a major study of public opinion suggests

Full story: The Telegraph

Supreme Court decides that High Court has inherent jurisdiction concerning child who has never lived in England and Wales

Case remitted for urgent consideration as to whether the jurisdiction should be exercised.

Full story: Family Law Week

Social work leaders criticise landmark child protection ruling

The British Association of Social Workers has spoken out against a landmark legal ruling allowing a father to post a video of police and social workers removing his baby under an emergency protection order.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Care applications in August 2013

In August 2013, Cafcass received a total of 822 applications. This is a 17% decrease compared to those received in August 2012.

Full story: Cafcass

Cafcass private law demand

In August 2013, Cafcass received a total of 4,053 new private law cases. This is a 2% increase on August 2012 levels.

Full story: Cafcass

Foster care myths threaten crisis, claims charity

Myths about foster care are threatening a crisis in the service in the UK, a charity claims.

Full story: BBC News

‘Unrepentant’ judge grants permission to appeal despite contrary view as to test

Mr Justice Mostyn has granted permission to appeal in a case involving s 13 of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 despite misgivings as to the likelihood of the appeal succeeding.

Full story: Family Law Week

Judge orders abusive mother and autistic son, 25, to live apart

Local council told to put son in a home after mother kept him in squalid conditions with little food.

Full story: The Guardian

Judge refuses to allow husband and wife to rekindle their marriage

A judge has refused to allow husband and wife to rekindle their marriage despite them both pleading for a restraining order to be lifted, saying they must first prove they can get on over the phone.

Full story: The Telegraph

Elderly opt to live together outside marriage

A major shift in attitudes toward the idea of “living in sin” among older people has led to a sharp rise in the number of pensioners cohabiting outside of marriage, an official study of census figures suggests.

Full story: The Telegraph

Supreme Court to decide on wardship of child who has never been in the jurisdiction

On Monday, 9th September the Supreme Court will give judgment in Re A (Children).

Full story: Family Law Week

Domestic violence: May orders review of police response

A review is to be carried out into the way police in England and Wales deal with cases of domestic violence, Home Secretary Theresa May has said.

Full story: BBC News

Grayling presses on with civil legal aid cuts

Justice secretary Chris Grayling is forging ahead with cuts to civil legal aid.

Full story: Solicitors Journal

Judge calls for more transparency in family courts

The most senior family judge in England and Wales has demanded more transparency in the courts after rejecting social workers’ attempts to silence a father whose baby was taken into care against his will.

Full story: The Telegraph

Reviewing the Independent Reviewing Officers

The National Children's Bureau is carrying out research funded by the Nuffield Foundation into the role of Independent Reviewing Officers in care cases in England.

Full story: Family Law

Police referrals of domestic violence cases drop 13%

Fall in number of cases being sent to Crown Prosecution Service to be considered for charge coincides with police staff cuts.

Full story: The Guardian

Judges 'favour badly behaved wives', says spurned husband

A property developer whose wife left him for the footballer Cesc Fabregas has accused British judges of favouring “badly behaved” wives as he expressed exasperation over his divorce settlement.

Full story: The Telegraph

Online trolling of women is linked to domestic violence, say campaigners

Online trolling against women is linked to domestic violence and abuse, experts have warned, and should not be dismissed as "obnoxious but harmless" behaviour.

Full story: The Guardian

Tragedy of 4,000 babies placed on 'at risk' register... before they're born

Thousands of babies are being put on ‘at risk’ registers by social workers before they are even born, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

Full story: The Mail on Sunday