Transparency in the Family Courts expanded

January 2024 There has been a longstanding call for greater transparency in the Family Court. Greater openness and public scrutiny enables an increase in the confidence in the Family Court and decisions made in family proceedings. Steps towards transparency. Since 2009 accredited reporters and more recently legal bloggers have been… Continue reading

To complain or not to complain Part 1

Good practice guidance relating to complaints made against Children Services.  In a recent training session, I was requested to clarify what happens if someone wants to complain against a decision made by children social care services. So this legal blog is about the complaints process. This legal blog is intended… Continue reading

Grab a coffee with the PLO update

Helpful tips on how to achieve the PLO statutory timeframe. The Public Law Outline (PLO) The PLO will be very familiar to those practitioners involved in Public Law Children Act Care Proceedings. For those unfamiliar or new to this area, the PLO provides a template for case management of care… Continue reading

Update on Age Assessments

April 2023 The government has established the National Age Assessment Board to strengthen age assessments of small boat arrivals and make decisions more consistent and robust. Age Assessments Age Assessments are presently undertaken by local authority social workers. They are required if there is a dispute as to whether the… Continue reading

Legal update on Liberty Protection Safeguards – implementation is further delayed.

April 2023 The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) form part of the Mental Capacity Act, introduced in 2009 to protect the rights of people who lack capacity to consent to their arrangements which could amount to a deprivation of their liberty. Why the change from DoLS to Liberty Protection Safeguards (LPS)… Continue reading

Part 2: Special Guardian Order Support Plans-cases before the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO) emphasise the importance of getting the right support plan

You can read the related Part 1 on SGO support plans by clicking here part-1-special-guardian-order In part 1 a number of cases before the LGO highlighted the need to provide the right support and guidance to carers and children subject to Special Guardianship Orders (SGO). The LGO in it’s report,… Continue reading

Somerset Judgement

The President of the Family Division rules on the validity of existing placement and adoption orders, despite failure with adoption regulations. The need for the President’s clarification starts with Re N (Children) [2021] EWCA Civ 785- 21 May 2021 https://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2021/785.html The mother of M (6 years) and T (13 years),… Continue reading

Covid – 19 Vaccinations for an adult who lacks capacity and who has already suffered vaccine damage.

Last month we discussed a case that considered whether a child should receive the Covid- 19 vaccination or not if the parent does not consent. This case relates to an adult. There are a number of reported judgements from 2021 that cover this issue, however the case of North Yorkshire… Continue reading

Keeping Families Together

Supporting families after care proceedings: Supervision Orders and beyond This is the title of the study published by the Department of Education (DFE), published by Professor Judith Harwin and Lancaster University. The study https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1064405/Harwin_Report_on_Parental_Perspectives.pdf Provides for the first time the views and experiences of parents who have raised their families… Continue reading

Family Court Backlogs are like dough proofing on a Baker’s shelf.

The President of the family division has raised concerns in relation to the current backlog and delays in the Family Court in his latest view:  Make Every Hearing Count – Case Management Guidance in Public Law Children Cases: March 2022. It is recognised by all professionals working within the Family… Continue reading