Cafcass rated ‘outstanding’ for effective leaders and practice that ‘act on the child’s views’

Ofsted inspectors find ‘child-focussed’ practice, ‘aspirational’ leadership and ‘innovations’ in technology within the family court advisory service.

Full story: Community Care

FPR Practice Direction 36G: Pilot Scheme, Procedure for Using an Online System to Generate Applications in Certain Private Law Proceedings Relating to Children

The FPR Committee has issued a new Family Procedure Rules Practice Direction 36G (Pilot Scheme, Procedure for Using an Online System to Generate Applications in Certain Private Law Proceedings Relating to Children).

Full story: Family Law

Family court statistics quarterly: October to December 2017

A statistical bulletin presenting statistics relating to the family courts in the fourth quarter of 2017, October to December.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Parents of Alfie Evans lose European court life-support case

Couple fighting decision to switch off son’s life support lose last-ditch legal bid.

Full story: The Guardian

Troubled Families Programme helps families to improve their lives

Local Government Minister Rishi Sunak has welcomed the progress made by the Troubled Families Programme over the past year to help families with multiple and complex problems improve their lives, to reform local services and to reduce pressure on the public purse.

Full story: Family Law

High Court hears how squabbling barristers turned family hearing into “shouting match”

There is a “concerning tendency on the part of the advocates simply to interrupt each other in an effort to advance their competing submissions”, a High Court judge has said as he reviewed a hearing that turned into a “shouting match”.

Full story: Legal Futures

Children’s well-being and social relationships in the UK: 2018

The Office for National Statistics has published its 2018 report on children’s well-being and social relationships in the UK.

Full story: Family Law

Council funding for women's refuges cut by nearly £7m since 2010

Funding is down at two-thirds of local authorities across England, Wales and Scotland, data reveals.

Full story: The Guardian

Rise in number of families in temporary accommodation

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has found that the number of families in temporary accommodation has risen by 64% since 2010, with almost 790,000 families staying in temporary accommodation in the last three months of 2017 because they didn’t have a permanent home.

Full story: Family Law

First domestic abuse consultation event held in Birmingham

The event is a key part of a major government consultation on the issue, and the first of 6 to be held across the country.

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Lord Justice McFarlane speaks out for change to adoption contact system

Lord Justice Andrew McFarlane has delivered a speech on present practices surrounding contact and adoption.

Full story: Family Law

Funding boost to improve speed and quality of adoption services

The Regional Adoption Agencies will speed up matching to find loving, stable homes for children more quickly.

Full story: Department for Education

Take the blame out of divorce to help those trapped in 'loveless' marriages, says top family judge

No-fault divorce should be introduced to help women who are "trapped in a loveless marriage", Britain's top family judge has suggested.

Full story: The Telegraph

Flawed legal aid system leaves ‘poorer and vulnerable clients denied assistance’

The Law Society has revealed that lower income families in England and Wales are being denied legal aid, meaning that they are excluded from funded aid to help fight eviction, severe housing disrepair and other legal issues.

Full story: Family Law

Alfie Evans parents refused permission for supreme court appeal

Couple hoped to overturn decision to switch off seriously ill toddler’s life support.

Full story: The Guardian

Council kept boy, 9, in care for whole of his life, judge reveals

Herefordshire council used section 20 orders to keep children in care without seeking court approval.

Full story: The Guardian

Care applications received by Cafcass in February 4% up on a year ago

Second highest monthly total for a February on record.

Full story: Family Law Week

New private law cases received by Cafcass in February 2018 5% down on a year ago

3,154 new private law cases in the month.

Full story: Family Law Week

Millionaire jailed for contempt of court over divorce deal

Property developer, 83, given 14-month sentence for refusing to obey company handover order.

Full story: The Guardian

Consultation on regs to allow a single person to apply for a parental order following a surrogacy arrangement

Consultation closes on 20 April 2018.

Full story: Family Law Week

Family court secrecy lets judges get away with mistakes, senior judge says

Secrecy in family courts could be allowing judges to get away with mistakes, the most senior family judge in England and Wales has said.

Full story: The Telegraph

Government will legislate to replace Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

Ministers broadly accept Liberty Protection Safeguards system proposed by Law Commission and pledge to legislate when parliamentary time allows.

Full story: Community Care

Sexual relationship not necessary for a valid marriage, says Munby

Sexual relations are not required for a marriage to be valid for the purposes of parental orders in surrogacy cases, the president of the family division has said, before granting an order to a couple where one of the partners is gay.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Judge orders husband in bitter divorce case to stop emailing wife’s solicitor

A High Court judge has issued a restraining order to stop a man in a long-running divorce case from contacting his former wife’s solicitor on her private email address.

Full story: Legal Futures

Practice Guidance: Case Management and Mediation of International Child Abduction Proceedings

Fresh guidance issued by The President, 13 March 2018, covering procedure, case management and mediation in international child abduction cases.

Full story: Family Law Hub

New batch of Standard Family Orders out for consultation

Comments on 74 orders covering children and other non-financial matters required by 18th April.

Full story: Family Law Hub

Home Affairs Select Committee announces domestic abuse inquiry

In advance of the Government's promised draft Bill on domestic violence and abuse, and in parallel with the Government's announced consultation, the Home Affairs Committee is seeking evidence on what measures and reforms are needed to address 'one of the most damaging and prevalent crimes'.

Full story: Family Law Week

Secure Tenancies (Victims of Domestic Abuse) Bill: 3rd reading 13 March 2018

The Secure Tenancies (Victims of Domestic Abuse) Bill is due to receive its third reading in the House of Lords on 13 March and the second reading debate in the Commons is scheduled for 19 March 2018.

Full story: Family Law Week

House of Commons to debate foster care

Debate scheduled for 14 March 2018.

Full story: Family Law Week

Domestic abuse survivors can now vote anonymously

The Houses of Parliament have passed Government proposals for changes to anonymous voter registration.

Full story: Family Law

Government takes action to tackle domestic abuse

The government has launched a consultation on domestic abuse, seeking new laws and stronger powers to protect and support survivors.

Full story: Home Office and Ministry of Justice

Child Support Agency quarterly summary of statistics: December 2017

Statistics from the Child Support Agency on the 1993 and 2003 statutory child maintenance schemes.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Child Support Agency case closures: June 2014 to December 2017

Quarterly experimental statistics on the progress of the Child Support Agency (CSA) case closure programme from June 2014 to December 2017.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Domestic abuse still under-reported in England, says Women's Aid

The charity says its figures underline the need for continued support of refuges.

Full story: The Guardian

European court rejects appeal in Isaiah Haastrup life support case

Human rights judges rule appeal by father of profoundly brain-damaged baby is inadmissible.

Full story: The Guardian

Alfie Evans: Decision to remove life support upheld by judge

The parents of a seriously ill toddler have lost their appeal against a High Court decision to end his life support.

Full story: BBC News

Family Law Bills before Parliament: an update

The following Bills which may be of interest to family lawyers are currently proceeding through Parliament.

Full story: Family Law Week

Adopted children should remain close to birth families, study suggests

Adoption law should be overhauled to ensure children can retain close contact with their birth families, the British Association of Social Workers has said following the findings of an academic study.

Full story: Children & Young People Now