News Update: 9th of April 2013

WELCOME to this week's Family Lore News Update.

Project set to look at the bright side of care
Children’s advocacy charity Voice and the University of Bristol have begun a study to identify the ingredients of a "good care journey" for children. Full story: Children & Young People Now.

Government risks the well-being of vulnerable children
"Today welfare reform measures take effect that cap benefits at 1 per cent increase per year until 2015 for families who are in and out of work, breaking the historic link between benefits and inflation." Full story: Barnardo's.

Proposed amendments to same-sex legislation would separate state and religious marriage
Greg Mulholland MP has tabled amendments to the Marriage (Same-sex Couples) Bill which would effect a separation of state and religious marriages. Full story: Family Law Week.

Sharia courts putting women at risk, CPS warns
Sharia courts are putting women at risk of violence from abusive husbands, the Crown Prosecution Service has warned. Something we have known about for years... Full story: The Telegraph.

High Court agrees to transfer of care proceedings from Ireland to England
A recent case in the High Court - Re LM (A Child) [2013] EWHC 646 (Fam) - has demonstrated the effective use of Brussels IIR to effect a transfer of jurisdiction, with the approval of parties, from the Republic of Ireland to England. Full story: Family Law Week.

Councils set out their own plans to speed up adoption
Local authorities propose to work together to match adopters with children. Full story: Family Law Week.

Online adoption gateway opens
The government today launched an online portal that will act as a national “gateway” for prospective adopters. Full story: Children & Young People Now.

NICE publishes quality standard to improve the wellbeing of looked after children
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has published a quality standard for social care which contains eight statements intended to improve the health and social, educational and emotional wellbeing of looked-after children and young people in care. Full story: Family Law Week.

Jailed property man hid his assets in offshore network during divorce
Jailed British property developer Scot Young, an associate of Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky, constructed a secret network of offshore companies to hold his assets during a multimillion-pound divorce battle, according to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists research. Full story: The Guardian.

Council leaders challenge government on adoption
Councils should be allowed to work together to improve the adoption system rather than being removed from it, local authority leaders have claimed. Full story: Children & Young People Now.

Ofsted finds safeguarding improvements in West Sussex
Child protection in West Sussex has been rated as adequate by inspectors, four years after it was first identified as performing poorly. Full story: Children & Young People Now.

Rising number of divorces blamed on women’s drinking
The number of divorces blamed on the women’s drinking habits has risen by 70 per cent in five years, a family lawyer has claimed. Full story: The Telegraph.

Co-op calls on solicitors to ‘stop the clock’ on divorce work
More than four out of five divorcees want family law services provided by fixed fees, according to research carried out by Co-operative Legal Services to launch a campaign against hourly rates in light of this week’s legal aid cuts. Full story: Legal Futures.

Extended definition of domestic violence takes effect
From the 31st March a wider definition of domestic violence, including 16 and 17 year olds and controlling behaviour took effect. Full story: Home Office.

The Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2013
These Regulations amend the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010 which make provision about care planning for looked after children.

R (on the application of ES) v LB of Barking & Dagenham [2013] EWHC 691 (Admin) (27 March 2013)
Claim for judicial review of local authority's failure to assess child's needs for the purposes of providing accommodation and support under section 17 of the Children Act. Claim allowed. Full report: Family Law Week.

A-H (Children) [2013] EWCA Civ 282-1 (30 January 2013)
Care proceedings. Appeal by father, focussing upon paediatric examination of the child in relation to allegations of sexual abuse. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Family Law Week.

Re N (Placement Order: Alternative Option to Adoption) [2013] EWCA (25 March 2013)
Care and placement orders made where there was a possibility that the maternal grandmother could care for the child, but further investigations were required before she could be considered appropriate. Appeal allowed. Report: Family Law.

GB (Children) [2013] EWCA Civ 164 (07 February 2013)
Care proceedings. Application by mother for permission to appeal refusal of adjournment so that she could seek alternative representation. Application granted, but appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii. See also the post by suesspiciousminds, below.

OC & OE (Children) [2013] EWCA Civ 162 (14 February 2013)
Appeal by mother against interim care orders in respect of two youngest children, where she had removed the children to Ireland. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

Finance and Divorce April 2013 update
Anna Heenan, solicitor and David Salter, Joint Head of Family Law at Mills & Reeve LLP analyse the March financial remedies and divorce news and cases. Full article: Family Law Week.

International Children Law Update: April 2013
Jacqueline Renton, Barrister of 4 Paper Buildings, reviews the latest key decisions in international children law. Full article: Family Law Week.

Samantha Bangham’s Week in Cases 5 April 2013
Samantha Bangham looks at the week's case highlights. Full article: Family Law.

Working together - hearing and safe-guarding children
"Working Together - now Working Together to Safeguard Children - has a long history, both as a document and as an imperative for protection of children." Says David Burrows, in this article on Family Law.

Fancy having a Judge in your living room?
"Thanks to the English High Court, state policing of personal relationships in Britain is on the rise." Says Barbara Hewson, in this article from Hardwicke Chambers.

“It is not down on any map, true places never are”
The DFE Adoption maps and what we can learn from them, if anything. Full post: suesspiciousminds.

“How’s that?”
"When does judicial intervention cross the line into being improper and showing bias?" Asks suesspiciousminds, in this post.

Enforcement of custody in the face of children’s dissent: should law prevail?
"Raw and others v France – This complicated inter-jurisdictional battle between estranged parents is a stark illustration of how difficult it can be in these sorts of cases to apply the law in the fog of family warfare." Says Rosalind English in this post on the UK Human Rights Blog.

“If you ever go across the sea to Ireland”
A discussion of two cases dealing with parents who fled to Ireland to avoid pending care proceedings. Full post: suesspiciousminds.

“You’re fired! Now, can I have an adjournment?”
Suesspiciousminds looks at Re L (A Child) 2013, where the decision to refuse an adjournment was overturned, and Re GB (Children) 2013 [above], where the refusal of the adjournment was approved, in this post.