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Children & Child Custody

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Policy shift needed to prevent child abuse, says NSPCC

Children’s charity the NSPCC is calling for a new approach to child abuse, focusing more on prevention as well as protection. It says this should help close the gap between the number of children who are abused or neglected at home, and the number who are actually protected by local authorities.

Family court applications following separation reach record highs

The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) has continued to see high levels of private law cases in March, with 4,001 new applications passed to Cafcass - a 1% increase on March 2012 levels.

Cafcass is making less use of experienced Guardians

A recent members’ survey by Nagalro has found that the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) is making less use of experienced Children’s Guardian practitioners.

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