Family Justice Council: Interim Guidance on Special Guardianship

This interim guidance is issued by the Family Justice Council with the approval of the Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division, in response to some of the issues identified in Re P-S (Children) [2018] EWCA Civ 1407.

Full guidance: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Forced marriage unit reports spike in cases as awareness rises

Goverment body gave advice or support in 1,764 cases in 2018, up 47% on previous year.

Full story: The Guardian

Family court judge refuses to reopen FGM case after man was cleared in criminal case

A family court judge who concluded that a man played a part in subjecting a three-year-old girl to female genital mutilation (FGM) has refused to reopen the case.

Full story: Care Appointments

New Cafcass chief executive announced

Jacky Tiotto will replace Anthony Douglas head of the family court advisory service.

Full story: Community Care

£15 million for project to reduce numbers of children in care

The new programme will be modelled on Family Drug and Alcohol Courts and Family Group Conferencing.

Full story: Community Care

Spotlight on child protection in family courts

A panel of experts will review how the family courts protect children and parents in cases of domestic abuse and other serious offences, Ministers announced today (Tuesday 21 May).

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 becomes law

The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 received Royal Assent on 16 May and became law on that day.

Full story: Family Law Week

Thousands of new foster families needed this year

Over 8,500 foster families are needed across the UK over the next year according to new figures published by The Fostering Network.

Full story: Family Law Week

Courts and Tribunals (Online Procedure) Bill receives second reading

The Courts and Tribunals (Online Procedure) Bill received its second reading in the House of Lords on 14 May.

Full story: Family Law Week

Government’s plans for domestic abuse do not reflect scale of the issue

ADCS President calls for ‘public health style’ response.

Full story: Family Law Week

‘Nearly 1,500 children in England are locked up by the state’: Children’s Commissioner

‘A third of a billion a year is spent on 1,465 children’.

Full story: Family Law Week

Judge rules mothers’ actions were ‘blatant and premeditated act of child abduction’

An Australian yoga teacher has won a High Court fight with his estranged English partner over the future of their three-year-old daughter.

Full story: Care Appointments

Theresa May rejects calls from 120 MPs for public inquiry into family courts after four children murdered by abusive parents

Prime minister says government believes formal probe into child deaths not 'necessary'.

Full story: The Independent

DoLS replacement bill becomes law ahead of expected implementation in 2020

Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 will introduce Liberty Protection Safeguards to replace Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.

Full story: Community Care

Voices of children overlooked in family courts, says ex-head

Family courts in England and Wales are not properly accommodating children's voices and needs because the government has suggested "it would all cost too much", their former head has said.

Full story: BBC News

Judge raises concern about media coverage of Court of Protection case

A judge in a specialist court who is considering whether a mentally ill woman is still able to consent to make love with her husband of more than 25 years has raised concern about media coverage of the case.

Full story: Care Appointments

New private law cases received by Cafcass in April up by 7 per cent year-on-year

Cafcass received a total of 3,719 new private law cases in April – 7.5% (258 cases) higher than the same month last year.

Full story: Family Law Week

New care applications received by Cafcass in April fell by 2 per cent

Cafcass received a total of 1,084 new care applications in April – 2.3 per cent lower (25 applications) than in the same month last year.

Full story: Family Law Week

Family President to issue guidance to courts on secure accommodation placements and statutory regime

The President of the Family Division has said he will issue practice guidance to the courts before the end of July so that more can be done to bring secure accommodation placements within the statutory regulatory scheme.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Children killed by parents after court-ordered access

At least four children have been killed in the last five years by a parent with a known history of violence, after a family court ordered they have access to their child, the Victoria Derbyshire programme has found.

Full story: BBC News

Questions raised over future of divorce centres

A question mark has been raised over the future of the government’s regional divorce centres, which have been widely criticised for delays and inefficiencies.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Domestic abuse: PM vows to end 'postcode lottery' for victims

Prime Minister Theresa May has vowed to end the "postcode lottery" for victims of domestic abuse.

Full story: BBC News

Judge gives brain injured man go-ahead to marry after assessing his mental capacity

A disabled man in his 20s has been given the go-ahead to marry after telling a judge in a specialist court how he wants a chance to prove that he can “do anything”.

Full story: Care Appointments

Council criticised for failing to support vulnerable children cared under SGO

Remedies agreed with local authority not implemented.

Full story: Family Law Week

Government response to Select Committee’s domestic abuse report published

The House of Commons Home Affairs Committee has published the Government response to the Committee's report on domestic abuse.

Full story: Family Law Week

New programme to protect children at risk of exploitation

Children most at risk of being targeted by gangs or violent crime will benefit from better support from specialists across education, health, social care, police and the voluntary sector in a programme launched by Education Secretary Damian Hinds.

Full story: Family Law Week

Research finds missing children are being let down

‘Opportunities to safeguard children missing from home or care are being missed by councils’.

Full story: Family Law Week

ECF evidence requirements for separated migrant children

Applications no longer need to be supported by detailed evidence.

Full story: Family Law Week

Council halt plans to take children from couple who displayed gender identity issues

Council social services have halted plans to take children from the care of a middle-aged couple.

Full story: Care Appointments

Judge approves council action to remove child from woman who was herself adopted

A woman who was adopted as a child must have her son taken from her care because she cannot meet his needs, a family court judge has ruled.

Full story: Care Appointments

Latest View from the President’s Chambers sets out need for change in Public and Private Children’s Law

Latest update gives details on the Public and Private Law Working Groups, a financial remedy court update, divorce service centres and the HMCTS Reform Programme.

Full story: Family Law Hub

Video hearings tested in domestic abuse cases

Domestic abuse victims may seek injunctions more easily and with less stress as part of a test into the use of fully-video court hearings.

Full story: HM Courts & Tribunals Service

President of the Family Division releases draft guidance on reporting in the Family Courts

The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has released draft guidance, for consultation, on reporting in the Family Courts.

Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Injured child’s case to be reviewed after senior judges raise concern over outcome

A family court case centred on a child thought to have been injured by an adult caring for her is to be reviewed after senior judges raised concerns.

Full story: Care Appointments

Solicitor MP decries no-fault divorce and warns of spike

A solicitor MP has dissented from prevailing opinion on no-fault divorce by speaking out against the government’s proposed reforms.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Even more people set to benefit from online court reform

New legislation making it even easier for court users to apply for small money claims or divorce online was unveiled in the House of Lords today (1 May 2019).

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Children's services 'at breaking point', MPs say

Children's services in England are at breaking point and need a £3.1bn minimum funding boost by 2025, MPs say.

Full story: BBC News