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Children & Child Custody

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Annual report on international family law

The Office of the Head of International Family Justice for England and Wales (the Office) has published its Annual Report for 2012.

New 'Passport to support' for adopters

The government has published ‘Adoption passport: a support guide for adopters’, which sets out the support services adopters can expect from local authorities.

Foreign Office marks International Missing Children’s Day

Almost ten new child abduction and international custody cases a week are being dealt with by the Foreign Office, according to newly released Government figures.

Use of expert witnesses decreases in family courts

New research from Cafcass, the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, has found that the instruction of expert witnesses in cases in family courts involving care applications is decreasing.

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.

Care applications in July 2013

The latest figures from the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) have revealed that it received a total of 870 applications in July 2013. This is a 13% decrease compared to those received in July 2012, which was the second highest number of applications in a single month ever.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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