Bankruptcy, mediation and more

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October 14, 2016 0 comments

family law

A week in family law My selection from this week’s mixed bag of family law-related stories: An inquiry into fostering in England has been launched by the House of Commons Education Select Committee. The inquiry will look at a range of fostering issues including the recruitment and retention of foster carers and concerns over reductions…

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Child protection improvement drive ‘a failure’

October 13, 2016 0 comments

family law

Government efforts to improve child protection services across the country have been a failure, the National Audit Office (NAO) has declared. A new report by NAO highlights recent initiatives by the Department for Education. These have included new statutory guidance; gathering national performance data from local authorities; major plans to reform children’s social work; and…

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Charities alarmed by child protection opt-out plans

October 7, 2016 1 comment

children in care

Child protection charities have expressed alarm at a government bill which would allow ministers to exempt councils from their child protection duties. The Children and Social Work Bill, currently proceeding through Parliament, could see local authorities freed from any legal responsibilities to children in care, both those living with foster families and those in residential…

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Adoption rate sees sharp drop

September 30, 2016 0 comments

family law

The number of children who have been adopted fell for the first time in four years in 2016. Figures published by the Department for Education have revealed that 4,690 ‘looked after’ children were adopted this year. This is a 12 per cent drop from the 5,360 last year. The fall is the first since before…

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A future where money, not law, determines outcomes

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August 18, 2016 5 comments

Cafcass

Now we all know that financial budgets are finite, particularly in these cash-strapped times. However, you would hope that the welfare of a child is considered to be more important than saving money. Wouldn’t you? Over the last couple of years I have regularly reported here how the demands placed upon the Children and Family…

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Term time holidays cost parents £5 million

July 7, 2016 0 comments

family law

Parents in England and Wales paid around £5.6 million in fines for taking their children on holiday during the last academic year. New data has revealed that this was paid by as many as 90,000 parents. The local authority which saw the highest number of fines was Lancashire County Council, with 4,279 parents facing punishment….

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Government claims adoption will save £310m

June 20, 2016 0 comments

fostering and adoption

Proposed adoption reforms could save as much as £310 million, the government claims. The reforms will be part of the Children and Social Work Bill which is scheduled to be scrutinised line-by-line in the House of Lords later this month. This ‘committee stage’ usually takes around two weeks. In a Department for Education (DfE) assessment…

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20% of children’s social worker posts vacant

April 21, 2016 0 comments

family law

Twenty per cent of children’s social worker jobs in England are vacant. There were 5,470 unfilled social worker positions in the country at the end of September, according to figures published by the Department for Education (DfE). In response, many local authorities resorted to using temporary agency workers to fill around 4,000 of the empty…

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Bids invited for children’s social programme

April 7, 2016 0 comments

finances and divorce

The Department for Education has invited councils and charities to bid for a slice of £200 million in funding for new social care schemes. An initial phase of the Children’s Social Care Innovation programme launched in 2014 saw more than 50 trendsetting services for vulnerable children and families receive a share of £100 million. That…

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Government wants early morning childcare

April 6, 2016 1 comment

children, family law

The government wants nurseries and kindergartens to make early morning childcare available when extended free hours become available next year. From 2017, families across  with three and four-year old children will be entitled to a total of 30 hours free childcare per week. The 15 hours currently available should be accessible from 7am and run…

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