News Update: 26th of March 2013

WELCOME to this week's Family Lore News Update.

Children whose parents have mental health difficulties are poorly supported and protected
Inconsistent mental health provision is disadvantaging young people in care, claims Ofsted, in a joint survey with the Care Quality Commission. Full story: Family Law Week.

Police announce new approach to assessing risk to missing children
The Association of Chief Police Officers has announced that police forces will move towards a new approach to risk assessing and responding to missing person cases that aims to better protect children and vulnerable adults. Full story: Family Law Week.

HFEA advises Government on necessary safeguards for IVF-based mitochondria replacement
The HFEA has agreed its advice to Government on the ethics and science of new IVF-based techniques designed to avoid serious mitochondrial diseases (see here). Full story: Family Law Week.

Draft Inheritance and Trustees’ Powers Bill published
Consultation on the draft financial provision legislation launched. Full story: Family Law Week.

Revised safeguarding guidance for professionals working with children
Revised guidance published by the Government clarifies the responsibilities of professionals towards safeguarding children, and strengthens the focus away from processes and onto the needs of the child. Full story: Department for Education.

Call for research into effects on children of giving evidence in abuse cases
Lord chief justice says such research would help improve way in which young witnesses are treated by justice system. Full story: The Guardian.

Northamptonshire child protection 'inadequate', Ofsted finds
The system for stopping the neglect and abuse of children in Northamptonshire is inadequate, inspectors have found. Full story: BBC News.

Child protection services in Herefordshire 'must improve'
Herefordshire Council has been told to improve child protection services or face having the government step in to take them over. Full story: BBC News.

Family courts cuts will create ‘perfect storm’
Lawyers have voiced concern about plans to cut the number of judges and courts dealing with family cases in central London at a time when increasing numbers of litigants in person are expected to put greater strain on the service. Full story: Law Society Gazette. See also this post.

Cafcass ‘dispensing’ with most experienced guardians, warns Nagalro
Warning of sharp decline in Cafcass' use of self-employed guardians as survey reveals nearly a third are allocated no work. Full story: Community Care.

Siblings could be split up as spare bedroom tax hits foster carers
Campaigners warn the "ridiculous" plans could deter people from fostering groups of brothers and sisters. Full story: Community Care.

N v C [2013] EWHC 399 (Fam) (14 January 2013)
Schedule 1 claim by mother where the parties had agreed that the child would reside primarily with her father. Claim dismissed. Report: Family Law.

S (A Child), Re [2013] EWHC 647 (Fam) (25 March 2013)
Children proceedings involving issues of jurisdiction, where there had been previous proceedings in Spain. Full report: Bailii.

M (A Child) [2013] EWCA Civ 210 (12 February 2013)
Application by father for permission to appeal order refusing direct contact, refusing him parental responsibility and imposing s.91(14) embargo. Permission granted in respect of parental responsibility and the s.91(14) order. Full report: Family Law Hub.

H (A Child) [2013] EWCA Civ 205 (1 February 2013)
Child abduction. Application by father for permission to appeal against refusal of return order, on the basis of the child's wishes. Application refused. Full report: Family Law Hub.

BB and FB v Germany (Application Nos 18734/09 and 9424/11) (14 March 2013)
Children removed from parents after they made allegations of abuse, which were later found to be untrue. The parents complained that the withdrawal of their parental rights had interfered with their rights under Art 8. Held that there had been a violation of Art 8. Report: Family Law. Full report: ECHR.

Arif v Anwar & Anor [2013] EWHC 624 (Fam) (21 March 2013)
Case management hearing in financial remedy proceedings in which the husband was made bankrupt on his own petition, in circumstances where the bankruptcy may or may not have been tactical. Full report: Bailii.

P -S (Children) [2013] EWCA Civ 223 (21 March 2013)
Appeals by child party to care proceedings against dismissal of application for leave to attend court to give evidence, and against the care order that was subsequently made. Appeals dismissed. Full report: Bailii. see also the blog posts, below.

Shami v Shami [2013] EWCA Civ 227 (20 March 2013)
Appeal by wife in relation to charges against a property owned by the husband, in favour of the husband's brother. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

PG v TW (No 1) (Child: Financial Provision: Legal Funding) [2012] EWHC 1892 (Fam) (4 May 2012)
Mother applied in Schedule 1 proceedings for an A v A order for the father to fund or contribute to her legal costs. Order made. Report: Family Law. Full report: Family Law Week.

PG v TW (No 2) (Child: Financial Provision) (18 March 2013)
Schedule 1 proceedings involving the father, who was a professional footballer, and the mother, who lived with the child in Africa. Report: Family Law. Full report: Family Law Week.

Human Rights and Family Law Spring Update 2013
Deirdre Fottrell, barrister of Coram Chambers, reviews recent cases involving human rights issues which are of significance to family lawyers. Full article: Family Law Week.

Samantha Bangham's Week in Cases
Samantha Bangham looks at the week's case highlights. Full article: Family Law.

Disproportionate costs and Children Act 1989 Sch 1 orders
"Two Family Division judges have recently berated two couples for their disproportionate expenditure on funding their litigation." Says David Burrows in this article in Family Law.

Family Law Week’s Budget Briefing 2013
Jan Ellis, chartered accountant, of Ellis Foster LLP, a firm which specialises in advising family lawyers on tax-related family law issues, explains the budget changes of most relevance to practitioners. Full article: Family Law Week.

Access all stakeholders
Lucy Reed explains the mysteries of the Family Justice Knowledge Hub, in this post on Pink Tape.

Child care proceedings ~ hearing the views of the child
"P-S (Children) [2013] EWCA Civ 223 [above] is an interesting case - Judgment. It concerned care proceedings in which a 15 year old child wished to attend court to give evidence in support of his case to return to the care of his Mother." Says ObiterJ, in this post on Law and Lawyers.

Does a child have a RIGHT to give evidence? Does anyone?
The Court of Appeal decision in Re P-S (Children) 2013 again [above]. Suesspiciousminds asks the questions, in this post.

Haranguing Haringey
The case of AB and Another v London Borough of Haringey 2013 and the valuable lessons that can be learned from it. Full post: suesspiciousminds.