Family Law Birmingham Latest News

Latest family law and divorce news and updates from Family Law Birmingham. Telephone: 0121 288 3802

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Login

Like many other organisations operating within the family justice system in England and Wales, the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) is in the process of change. It’s role looks likely to evolve and this means the way in which Cafcass is regulated now needs to be re-considered.

To this end, the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted) has launched a consultation on proposed changes to the inspection of Cafcass, to drive improvement for children involved in the family courts proceedings.

What is Cafcass?

Cafcass is a non-departmental public body, and represents children in family court cases of all types, including adoption cases, care orders, emergency protection orders and in cases dealing with residency or contact, after divorce or separation.

Cafcass makes sure that the voices of children are heard and that the decisions that are made about them are in their best interests. Safeguarding is a top priority for Cafcass, as are the wishes and feelings of the children involved.


Significant reforms to services for vulnerable children and radical proposals to allow parents to choose how they share up to a year’s leave to look after their new-born children have been announced.

The Children and Families Bill includes reforms to adoption, family justice, an overhaul of Special Educational Needs, reinforcing the role of the Children’s Commissioner and plans to introduce childminders agencies. It also includes the extension of the right to request flexible working to all employees.

The Bill will include provisions on the following reforms:

  • Adoption Reform: the Government wants to reform the system so that more children can benefit more quickly from being adopted into a loving home.
  • Children in care: educational achievement for children in care is not improving fast enough. The Bill will require every Council to have a ‘virtual school head’ to champion the education of children in the authority’s care, as if they all attended the same school.
  • Family Justice: the Government wants to remove delays and ensure that the children’s best interests are at the heart of decision making.
  • Children’s Commissioner: the Bill makes the Children’s Commissioner more effective by clarifying his or her independence from Government with a remit to ‘protect and promote children’s rights’.
Hits: 1016 0 Comments

The Government of Japan has announced its intention to sign the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, reports The Japan Times.

The 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention applies typically where one parent has moved a child abroad without the consent of the other parent and without the permission of a court.

In such a case, the “left behind” parent may apply through the Hague system for the prompt return of the child, and a “return order” will be issued unless the “taking parent” can establish that one of the exceptions found in the Convention should be applied

The development will be welcomed by many parents who have children with a Japanese partner, but have lost contact with them after the relationship broke down and their former partner took the children back with them to Japan. 

According to the Japan Times, the courts in Japan are currently very unlikely to award custody to foreign parents. Once Japan ratifies the Convention, these parents will finally have a legal route to try and gain access to their children.

Hits: 2680 0 Comments

A recent study by researchers at the Universities of Sussex and Oxford has challenged Government plans to alter the 1989 Children Act.

The Government has issued a call for more adopters to help find homes for more than 4200 children ready for adoption.

The child protection system is not meeting the needs of older children and must be reviewed urgently, according to a report from the Education Committee.

Three London councils have undertaken a national care proceedings pilot since 1st April this year aimed at speeding up the family court process.

The Fostering Network has claimed that Welsh children in care are being denied a proper experience of childhood because their foster carers are not given enough decision making powers.

The Association of Directors of Children’s Services has recently published a report that highlights a continually growing demand for child protection and care services.

Birmingham City Council has issued a statement following the recent publication of the findings of an unannounced Ofsted inspection into its children’s services.

Ofsted has published a report by Children’s Rights Director for England, Roger Morgan, which documents the views of children living in care and asks why they ran away. Children in care were also asked what they thought the dangers of running away were and what could be done to prevent them running.

The Department of Education has recently released statistics that show a substantial rise in the number of looked after children who go missing for more than 24 hours from their agreed placement. The figures leapt from 1,040 in 2011 to 1,610 in 2012.

CAFCASS Cymru has introduced an all-Wales approach to the provision of child contact services in Wales, by appointing the National Association of Child Contact Centres as the network manager for Wales.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has published the latest set of statistics relating to the performance of the Child Support Agency (CSA).

Following the publication of a report by the Welsh Audit Office that shows children in care are continuing to fall behind in education, the Fostering Network Wales has called for more focus on providing stable foster care in order to help looked after children achieve their potential.

Charity Grandparents Plus has called for adoption to be made the third choice option for children unable to live with their parents, reports CYP Now.

A recent study from America has looked at how the type of relationship a woman has with her ex-partner can impact on how the couple shares custody of children.

The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) has released details of care applications received during July.

An Office for National Statistics' bulletin has revealed that there were 4,734 adoptions following court orders in England and Wales in 2011, an increase of 6% since 2010 when there were 4,481 adoptions. Figures on adoption orders apply to adoptions by relatives and stepparents as well as adoptions from care.

Almost a quarter of the English public would consider Prime Minister David Cameron’s proposal of ‘fostering to adopt’, a new survey shows.