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Children & Child Custody

Court removes threat of prison for child maintenance arrears

The Court of Appeal has ruled that the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC) cannot threaten two men with imprisonment if they continue to fail to pay child maintenance arrears, reports the Telegraph.

Helping children find new families

The Economic and Social Research Council has reported on recent research that suggests children's parties or activity days, where prospective adopters meet children awaiting adoption, could be part of the solution to the current adoption crisis.

More UK couples involved in overseas custody cases

A service manager at the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass), John Mellor, has reported seeing an increase in the number of international child custody cases involving British couples abroad, reports the Guardian.

ECHR rejects care order claim

The European Court of Human Rights has rejected a claim that the Official Solicitor’s decision to place a woman’s child into care, and subsequently for adoption, was in breach of the woman’s human rights.

BASW responds to adoption ‘demand’ claims

The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) has commented on recent claims that families who move to England from Slovakia and Russia are being unfairly targeted to satisfy demand from prospective British adopters.

Adoption UK comments on adoption figures

Adoption UK has commented on the recent release by the Department of Education of statistics relating to children in care.

Stability and security for fostered and adopted children

Barnardo's has issued a statement welcoming the announcement that the Government is to consult over changes to fostering and adoption procedures.

More countries sign up to child protection conventions

The Russian Federation and Lesotho have deposited their instruments of accession to the 1996 Hague Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children.

Education of looked after children slowly improving

The educational attainment of looked after children and young people is improving slowly but there is too much variation in attainment, inconsistent support and a lack of clearly defined outcomes against which progress can be assessed. These are the findings of a report published by the Auditor General for Wales.

High Court rules on care consent case

The High Court has ruled that social workers were wrong to obtain consent from a woman to take her new-born baby into care when she was still under the affects of drugs administered during a difficult birth, reports the Daily Mail.

The emotional impact of children moving away

We live in an increasingly globalised and fast-paced society. It is more common than ever for us to move overseas to work, and marriages between partners of different nationalities are on the increase. This creates obvious problems where children are concerned. While me may hope that our moves abroad, and our marriages, are permanent, often our work situation changes or our relationships break down. In these types of situation, children can become the subject of custody disputes of a transnational (or perhaps even just trans-regional) character. One partner may wish to return to their native land (or indeed remain in an adopted homeland) when a relationship breaks down.

Landmark court ruling may prevent expats from taking children 'home'

The case, reported in the Telegraph, concerned a Canadian divorcee who had been living in the UK with her former husband and two children. The woman wished to return to her native Canada after her divorce, and take her young children, aged two and four, with her. The mother complained of feeling 'lonely' and 'isolated' in Britain. She applied to the court for permission to take the children with her and was initially successful. However, her former husband, and father to the children appealed and the Court of Appeal struck the first ruling down. It did this on the basis that the father had been playing a 'major role' in the lives of the children since the couple had separated, seven months before the divorce. The father looked after the children for two nights per week (35% of the time, as the Telegraph point out).

Adoption UK statement on new adoption figures

Adoption UK has issued a statement in response to recent figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which show that there has been a 6% increase in the overall level of adoptions in England and Wales.

Lord Chief Justice’s Report laid before House of Lords

The latest Lord Chief Justice’s Report has been laid before the House of Lords.

Committee protests against shared parenting proposal

The Chair of the Justice Select Committee, the Rt Hon Sir Alan Beith MP, has written to the Prime Minister in relation to the Government’s proposals to change the Children Act 1989 in an attempt to promote shared parenting.

More babies in care to receive a stable home more swiftly

The Prime Minister has announced plans to reduce radically the time it takes for a baby to move in with their permanent family.

New investigation into adoption

The Family Rights Group has responded to the news that a new select committee investigation into the adoption process in England and Wales has been launched.

Care system places children in danger

Children who go missing from care are being systematically failed and placed in great danger by the very professionals who are there to protect them, according to a parliamentary inquiry report.

Government consults on child access after separation

Ministers have put forward proposals to strengthen the law to ensure that children can continue to see both parents if they separate or divorce where it is safe and in the child’s best interest.

Grandparents risk poverty raising grandchildren

A new study by charity Grandparents Plus has revealed that lack of support from Government and local authorities means that many grandparents face poverty after dropping out of the labour market to raise their grandchildren.

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