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Children & Child Custody

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Council fails to pay proper financial support to foster carers

The Local Government Ombudsman has found that Liverpool City Council has been failing to pay around 340 foster carers the correct amount of allowances for a number of years.

Raising Awareness of Child Abduction

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has recently come together with charity Reunite to help raise awareness of the issue of international parental child abduction.

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.

Giving Children a Voice in Family Courts

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

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.

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.

Cafcass Gives Update on Case Workload

The latest figures from the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) show that in December 2014, it received a total of 918 care applications. This figure represents a 13% increase compared to the number received in December 2013.

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.

Cafcass Experiences a Rise in Applications

The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) has seen a rise in both care applications and private law applications during July this year, compared to the same period last year.

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.

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.

Commission's cost reduction report published

The Commons Public Accounts Committee has published a report of its review of the the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission's (the Commission) cost reduction plans.

Adoption UK to run National Gateway

National membership organisation and support charity, Adoption UK, has been awarded the contract for the National Gateway for Adoption, in partnership with Coram and Coram Children’s Legal Centre.

Where do children live when international relationships breakdown?

An article by Richard Gregorian, principal of Gregorian Emerson Family Law Solicitors (www.gelaw.co.uk) and Gavin Emerson, Brief Strategic Therapist.

Concerns over government response to the Family Justice Review

Nagalro, the professional association for court guardians, has welcomed the government’s commitment to reducing delay in the family justice system, but has raised concerns that the proposals may harm children’s interests.

Authorities must tackle delays in adoption

Ofsted has warned local authorities that, under new adoption inspection arrangements, they will only be able to achieve an ‘outstanding’ judgement if they ensure all children identified for adoption are placed within twelve months. These new arrangements will be implemented in April this year.

Charities voice concerns that legal changes will harm children

Six major children’s charities have joined together to voice concerns that children will be denied access to justice in proposed changes to legal aid.

Fathers should be made to meet child maintenance responsibilities

A new report by think tank Policy Exchange has claimed that non-resident fathers on benefits should be made to work if they refuse to take financial responsibility for their children.

ECHR rules on same-sex adoption case

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled in the case of Gas and Dubois v. France that the refusal to allow a woman to adopt her same-sex partner’s child was not discriminatory.

The applicants, Valérie Gas and Nathalie Dubois, are French nationals who have been cohabiting since 1989.

Kinship carers not adequately supported

The charity Family Rights Group has warned that family and friends carers are not receiving adequate support from local authorities to help them raise some of the country's most vulnerable children.

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