Family Law (15-29 January)

Family News

Hospital harmed my brain-damaged baby, father tells court

The Guardian – 24 January

The case of an 11-month old boy who doctors are trying to take off of life support due to brain damage suffered during birth complications has been taken to court. The parents are hoping the treatment will continue and they will be able to care for their child at home whilst the hospital argue the attempts are futile. The ruling will be announced this week.

Domestic abusers told to say sorry to partner by police

The Telegraph – 23 January

A report by the Fawcett Society Charity has concluded that a large number of domestic abuse cases were not being handled properly, and the ‘restorative justice’ amounted to little more than an apology. Sam Smethers, chief executive of the charity has argued that this method of resolution is not appropriate in domestic and sexual abuse cases and may put victims at risk.

Importance of supporting parents with learning disability highlighted in care case

Family Law Week – 22 January

Family Law Week examines the case of A Local Authority v G (Parent with Learning Disability) [2017] EWFC B94 in relation to the care and support offered to parents with learning disabilities. Judge HHJ Dancey has highlighted the importance of providing the necessary support but ‘concluded that such obligation does not extend to support that is tantamount to substituted parenting’.

Damian Hinds announces education drive for disadvantaged areas

Cypnow – 19 January

Damian Hinds, the new Education Secretary has announced that £45 million of government money will go to ‘successful multi-academy trusts’ to try and improve schools that are underperforming, whilst a further £25 million will be shared out across 75 projects designed to increase literacy and numeracy skills. These announcements come as part of 6 ‘opportunity area plans’.

Adoption a 'runaway train often breaching rights of birth parents'

The Guardian – 18 January

The conclusion of a two-year long British Association of Social Workers’ (BASW) independent adoption inquiry, has revealed concerns over the current adoption process. The inquiry has concluded that adoption laws favour adoption over ‘alternative care options’ that can keep a child with its birth parents.

Pressure growing for rights for cohabiting couples

FT Adviser – 17 January

There has been a recent push for common law marriages to be accepted in the law in England and Wales in an attempt to keep the law up to date with the countries needs (cohabiting couples are the fastest growing family type in the country). The FT Adviser explores this in relation to the case of Jakki Smith, an unmarried long-term partner of a man who did not receive bereavement damages when he died.

Munby warns against 'adversarial and punitive' care proceedings

The Law Society Gazette – 17 January

Sir James Munby, the president of the family division has advised local authorities to ‘think long and hard before embarking upon care
against otherwise unimpeachable parents.’ The Law Society Gazette reports this advice in relation to AB (A Child).

Ofsted 'needs more money' to monitor apprenticeships

Cypnow – 17 January

An inquiry conducted by the Education Select Committee has revealed that Ofsted are currently struggling to keep up with monitoring the quality of apprenticeships, particularly as the government are trying to achieve their target of having 3 million people in apprenticeships by 2020. Ofsted have told MPs they need more money in order to effectively complete their job.

Thousands of parents yet to receive 30 hours childcare confirmation

Cypnow – 15 January

The Department for Education (DfE) has published statistics showing that nearly 60,000 eligibility codes for the government’s 30 hours free childcare offer are yet to be validated. For the Autumn term of this academic year, 94% of codes were validated, yet only 82% have been for the Spring term.

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