One in five children referred over suspected abuse

One in five of all children born in a single year in England was referred to social services before they reached age five, research suggests. A study of children born in 2009-10 suggests up to 150,000 pre-school children were reported over fears of abuse or neglect, most unnecessarily. Only 25% of referrals were formally investigated […]

Children in care: Call to cut prosecutions for minor offences

Children in care should not be prosecuted for minor offences, a report looking at their over-representation in the criminal justice system says. The review for the Prison Reform Trust calls on the government to draw up new procedures to protect these children from criminalisation. Lord Laming’s report says half of children in custody in England […]

Adoption law reform aims to speed up placements

A shake-up of adoption rules in England aims to move more children more quickly from the care system to family life. The Children and Social Work Bill, unveiled in the Queen’s Speech, aims to reduce delays in placing children with an adoptive family. The new law will also aim to improve social care standards across […]

Mother banned by Court of Appeal from calling her child ‘Cyanide’

The Court of Appeal has upheld an order made in the Swansea Family Court by which a mother was prevented from naming her twins ‘Cyanide’ and ‘Preacher’. In C (Children) [2016] EWCA Civ 364, the Court had to determine whether there is power in this jurisdiction to prevent a parent with parental responsibility from registering […]

Goddard Inquiry: Children were abused ‘on industrial scale’

“Physical and sexual abuse on an industrial scale” went “unchecked for decades” at children’s homes in a south London borough, a victims’ report says. The report detailing claims by 600 people will go before the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. At a preliminary hearing earlier, the Shirley Oaks Survivors Association was given “core participant […]

Cuts to legal aid for victims of domestic violence ‘legally flawed’

The Court of Appeal has declared that Government changes to the rules which allow victims of domestic abuse to obtain legal aid are legally flawed.  Campaigners welcomed the ruling and said it was an important recognition of “women’s real life experiences of domestic violence”. One rule change stipulated that an application for legal aid could only be made if evidence of […]

‘Huge rise’ in newborn babies subject to care proceedings

There has been a “huge” rise in the number of newborns who are subject to care proceedings in England, according to figures compiled for the first time. Some 2,018 babies were involved in such cases in 2013, compared with 802 in 2008, the University of Lancaster said. About half were taken from mothers with other […]

England and Wales court cells ‘squalid and dangerous’

Conditions at cells in courts in England and Wales are an “accident waiting to happen”, a report has said. Prison inspectors found “squalid” cells covered in sexist and racist graffiti including swastikas, and a “dangerous” disregard for risks posed by detainees. It comes after two people, a detainee and a custody officer, died in court […]

Poor support failing most vulnerable young people, say MPs

Too many of the most vulnerable young people in England are “cut adrift when they need help the most”, says the head of a powerful committee of MPs. The Public Accounts Committee says there has been a “systemic failing” in support to young people leaving foster care or children’s homes. Its chair Meg Hillier MP […]

Why there will be fewer police on streets

Senior police officers have signalled that the era of routine patrols by “bobbies on the beat” has come to an end. The comments have been made by the chairwoman of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), Sara Thornton, and Craig Mackey, the deputy commissioner of the Met Police. In an interview with BBC Newsnight, Chief […]

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