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Children & Child Custody

Children's Relationship with Separated Parents

A new law came into force on 22nd October that reinforces the importance of children having relationships with each parent following family breakdown.

Concerns over Rise in Special Guardianship Orders

Fostering and adoption charity TACT has expressed concern over a sharp rise in the use of Special Guardianship Orders (SGOs) in England.

Lack of Support for Children Returning Home from Care

The Government is spending £300 million a year as a result of the breakdown of children's return home from care, according to new research commissioned by the NSPCC.

Child Maintenance System Fees Come into Effect

New enforcement fees for people using the Child Maintenance Service Collect and Pay system came into effect on 11th August this year.

Giving Children a Voice in Family Courts

The Government has committed to giving children a greater voice in the family justice system.

Launch of New Child Maintenance Service

A new Child Maintenance Service was launched this week (30 June 2014). The new system is design to provide greater support and encouragement for separated families to reach an agreement on child maintenance payments in order to allow more time and resources to be dedicated to the most extreme cases.

Family Courts Remove Successive Children

Thousands of mothers have had successive children removed by family courts in England over the past seven years, according to research led by experts at the University of Manchester.

Report on Progress of New Child Maintenance Scheme

A recent report by the National Audit Office has found that the Department for Work and Pensions has successfully introduced the first phase of the Child Maintenance 2012 scheme.

New Rules to Overhaul Adoption

New rules to speed up the adoption system are due to come into force in July, the Government has announced.

Care Application Statistics

Recently released statistics have given an insight into the number of care applications received per 10,000 child population – the rate of care applications - by each local authority (LA) in England with children’s services responsibilities.

Family Drug and Alcohol Court proves a success

A new approach to care proceedings that tackles the substance misuse of parents has been successful in reducing the number of children taken into care and enabling more families to remain together safely, reports the Nuffield Foundation.

Cafcass becomes part of the Ministry of Justice

The welfare of children has been brought closer to the family court system now that key safeguarding organisation the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service Cafcass has joined the Ministry of Justice.

Courts take ‘child-centred’ approach in international relocation cases

A recent ruling by the Supreme Court has made the judgment that a child’s ‘state of mind’ is relevant when making assessments in cases where there is dispute over which country a child should live.

Incidences of parental abduction double

Figures released recently by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) and charity Reunite have revealed that the number of parental child abduction and custody cases has more than doubled over the past ten years, with almost two children being abducted abroad each day.

Majority of fathers keep in touch with non-resident children

New research has revealed the welcome news that 87% of fathers who don’t live with their children continue to have regular contact with them.

Cafcass transfer to the Ministry of Justice

The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) is to transfer to the Ministry of Justice in April 2014. According to Family Justice Minister Lord McNally, the move will allow the welfare of children and families to be brought to the heart of the court system.

Charities call on Lords to ensure homes for care leavers

Forty charities, other organisations and academics have joined together to call on the House of Lords to support a once-a-generation chance to change the law so that fostered young people in England can stay with their foster carers until the age of 21.

Judges want role of independent social workers safeguarded

The important role played by independent social workers (ISWs) in care proceedings should be safeguarded, according to a new report which is based on the views of senior judges.

New funding to support adoptive families

Adoptive parents will benefit from new funding worth £19.3 million to access the best possible care for children who have often been victims of abuse and neglect.

Adoptions in England and Wales

The Office for National Statistics has released a bulletin giving annual statistics on adoptions which took place following court orders in England and Wales in 2012. Figures on adoption orders apply to adoptions by relatives and step-parents as well as adoptions from care.

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