Cheshire East

Age assessment and the Kent Intake Unit social worker guidance

The High Court has ruled that the Home Office acted unlawfully in detaining unaccompanied young people for age assessments at a port in Kent. Shu Shin Luh and Antonia Benfield explain why. Read more
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Jan 28, 2022

High Court rejects claim council was vicariously liable after employee on “frolic of her own” leaked social care records

Luton Borough Council was not vicariously liable for the acts of an employee who leaked sensitive data about a woman and her children, in what a High Court judge called a "classic case" of the employee being on a "frolic of her own".
Jan 26, 2022

MPs and peers express concern at government reforms on age assessment

MPs and peers have expressed concern at the age assessment provisions in the Nationality and Borders Bill, warning that the legislation could greatly increase the risk that a child is wrongly assessed to be an adult.
Jan 24, 2022

All Party Parliamentary Group launches inquiry into legal aid for kinship carers

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Kinship Care has launched an inquiry into access to legal aid for kinship carers and potential kinship carers.
Jan 24, 2022

High Court rejects ‘failure to remove’ Human Rights Act claim brought against two councils

A Deputy High Court judge has dismissed a claim brought by a claimant (AB) under the Human Rights Act against two local authorities over their alleged failure to remove him from the care of his mother.
Jan 24, 2022

Family Division judge backs proposals for future applications for third party disclosure from Prison Service and similar bodies

A judge in the Family Division of the High Court has backed proposals made by the Justice Secretary for how parties seeking disclosure from the HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) in public law children proceedings should approach the issue.
Jan 21, 2022

High Court rules Home Office guidance on age assessments at Kent Intake Unit was "unlawful"

Guidance issued by the Home Office to social workers at the Kent Intake Unit (KIU) and age assessments carried out by them in relation to two claimants were unlawful, a High Court judge has ruled.
Jan 20, 2022

Failure in childcare case to identify cognitive difficulties of appellant and to make appropriate participation directions “amounted to serious procedural irregularity”, Court of Appeal rules

Failure to identify an appellant's cognitive limitations led to procedural unfairness in a case involving children, the Court of Appeal has found.
Jan 20, 2022

Family Court judge criticises "seriously flawed" investigation into injuries suffered by boy

A county council failed to establish that a child’s injuries were inflicted and the investigation into responsiblity for those injuries was "seriously flawed", a Familiy Court judge has found.
Jan 17, 2022

Legal challenges over age assessments for unaccompanied asylum seeking children and incorrect Home Office decisions “placing additional pressure on children’s services departments”: ADCS

Local authorities are “picking up the pieces” where decisions made by the Home Office on the age of unaccompanied asylum seekers are incorrect, the President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services (ADCS) has warned.
Jan 13, 2022

Council settles claim brought by couple over halting of adoption process

City of Bradford Council has made a payment put in five figures to settle a claim by a couple who were deprived of a child they wished to adopt.
Dec 30, 2021

CoramBAAF urges councils to check their procedures comply with Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005 in light of Somerset ruling

CoramBAAF, the independent membership organisation for professionals, foster carers and adopters, has called on all local authorities to check that their procedures comply with the detail of the Adoption Agencies Regulations (AAR) 2005 to avoid potential similar difficulties to those faced by Somerset County Council and highlighted by a recent High Court judgment.
Dec 29, 2021

Average length of time for care proceedings has continued to rise, Ministry of Justice data reveals

The average time for a care or supervision case to reach first disposal was 45 weeks in July to September 2021, up four weeks from the same quarter in 2020 and one week compared to April to June 2021, according to the latest Ministry of Justice data.


January 14, 2022

Child Law Update

Michael Jones reviews some of the most signifcant public law children cases of 2021.
December 21, 2021

Public law children case update

Mary Brodie looks at recent judgments of the Court of Appeal and the High Court in public law children proceedings.
November 09, 2021

Looked after children and Covid-19 vaccination

Josie Canham-Williams summarises the first case to address the administration of the Covid-19 vaccination for 12-15 year olds and the winter flu vaccination for children in school years 7 to 11.
November 08, 2021

'Failure to remove’ claims in the High Court

Paul Stagg looks at the lessons from an important High Court ruling on 'failure to remove' claims.
October 29, 2021

The ECHR on compensation for unfair judicial criticism

In June the European Court of Human Rights ordered the UK Government to pay €24,000 for non-pecuniary damage and €60,000 in legal costs to a social worker who was accused of professional misconduct by a Family Court judge in the course of a fact-finding hearing. Fran Massarella examines the judgment.
October 22, 2021

Fostering agencies and religious beliefs

The Court of Appeal has recently ruled on the legality of a fostering agency’s requirement that potential carers must be Christians. Natasha Isaac examines the case.
October 08, 2021

In conversation with HHJ Patrick Perusko

HHJ Patrick Perusko discusses and shares his experiences from running the innovative Family Drugs and Alcohol Court (FDAC).
October 07, 2021

Unregulated placements for children under 16

Can the High Court to still authorise, under its inherent jurisdiction, the deprivation of liberty of a child under the age of 16 following amendments to the Care Planning, Placement and Case Review (England) Regulations 2010? Tahmina Rahman, barrister at 1GC Family Law, considers the issues.
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Dec 21, 2021

Senior judge issues supplementary guidance on e-bundles for use in family courts

The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has issued guidance on e-bundles for use in the Family Court and Family Division.
Dec 20, 2021

Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal by mother over adoption orders despite procedural irregularity

The Supreme Court has refused a mother permission to appeal after her application to revoke an adoption order was rejected despite an acknowledged procedural irregularity at an earlier hearing.
Dec 16, 2021

High Court judge refuses to "apply a rubber stamp" to authorise deprivation of liberty of child in hospital

A High Court judge has refused to give “a spurious veneer of lawfulness” to the detention of a child in hospital by making a deprivation of liberty safeguards (DOLS) order.
Dec 16, 2021

High Court rejects challenge to refusal by council to reassess age of asylum seeker

The Administrative Court has rejected a claim that the Royal Borough of Greenwich should reassess the age of asylum seeker G, after disentangling evidence about the education system in Angola.
Dec 15, 2021

QCs at 1GC and Doughty Street named High Court judges

A specialist in children law and a specialist in inquests and public inquiries have been appointed Justices of the High Court.
Dec 13, 2021

High Court can still authorise deprivation of liberty of child in unregistered home in "imperative conditions of necessity": Court of Appeal

The statutory scheme established by Section 22C of the Children Act 1989 does not allow unregistered placements, but does not expressly prohibit them, and in cases where conditions of imperative necessity require a child to be placed in such a setting, common law steps in and allows the High Court to exercise its inherent jurisdiction to authorise a deprivation of liberty, the Court of Appeal has…
Dec 08, 2021

President appoints 26 experts to panel tasked with increasing transparency in Family Court

The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has appointed senior members of the judiciary and government officials alongside legal professionals and media representatives to his proposed Transparency Implementation Group (TIG).
Dec 08, 2021

Public law children specialist Stevenson moves to 4PB

Child law practitioner Chris Stevenson, formerly of Fourteen, has joined 4PB with immediate effect.
Dec 07, 2021

Coroner highlights “Inadequate support” from council social services team in report on boy’s death

A boy who died falling from a cliff passed away due to high-risk behaviour, related to his Prader-Willi syndrome, on a background of "inadequate support" from his local authority, Kent County Council, a coroner has found.
Dec 06, 2021

Court of Appeal rejects claim council infringed right to be protected from modern slavery

The Court of Appeal has upheld a High Court ruling which found a council did not infringe upon the protections against modern slavery afforded the appellant (H) under Article 4 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR).
Dec 06, 2021

Good Law Project in renewed bid for judicial review challenge over placements of children in care outside of local area

The Good Law Project has renewed its application for permission to bring a judicial review challenge over the numbers of children in care being placed outside of their local area.
Dec 02, 2021

County council apologises over adoption procedure errors

Somerset County Council has issued an apology after being criticised in the High Court by Mrs Justice Roberts over irregular adoption procedures.
Dec 01, 2021

Judge approves order to keep boy in residential accommodation at likely cost of £750k

A High Court judge has approved a local authority’s application for a care order that will see a boy nearing his teenage years continue to stay at a registered children’s home at a cost of £9,500 a week and potentially a total amount of £750,000, despite the parents' wishes that he should return to live with his mother with such support as might be put in place.
Nov 29, 2021

North East councils to procure £15m barristers framework for Children and Adult Services

Procurement organisation NEPO is to establish on behalf of the Association of North East Councils a £15m, four-year legal services framework for the provision of Children's and Adult's Barristers Services.
Nov 26, 2021

Family Drug and Alcohol Court pilot scheme launched in Wales

A Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) pilot has been launched in Wales with £450,000 in funding from the Welsh Government.
Nov 23, 2021

National Transfer Scheme to become mandatory for councils on temporary basis, Home Office announces

Participation in the National Transfer Scheme is to become temporarily mandatory for all councils with children's services, the Home Office has announced.
Nov 15, 2021

Court of Appeal rules on whether care orders and special guardianship orders can coexist

A judge sitting in the family court does have jurisdiction to allow care orders and special guardianship orders (SGOs) to coexist, although the circumstances in which this will arise are likely to be rare, the Court of Appeal has ruled.
Nov 10, 2021

Too many witness statements prepared in breach of proper professional standards, says top family judge

The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has issued a memorandum setting out how witness statements should be prepared for use in the Family Courts to ensure they meet proper professional standards.
Nov 10, 2021

Court of Appeal upholds refusal of application for placement orders in case where parents showed “grossly unreasonable attitude” towards professionals

A local authority has failed to persuade the Court of Appeal that a judge’s refusal of its applications for placement orders in respect of children aged two and almost four was irrational.
Nov 09, 2021

Judge issues ruling on use of inherent jurisdiction where placements will not or cannot comply with practice guidance issued by Family President

A High Court judge has handed down a ruling on whether it remains open to the court to exercise its inherent jurisdiction authorising a deprivation of liberty in cases where an unregistered placement either will not or cannot comply with practice guidance issued by the President of the Family Division.
Oct 29, 2021

Accredited media representatives and legal bloggers should be able to report publicly on what they see and hear in the courts: President of the Family Division

The time has come for accredited media representatives and legal bloggers to be able, not only to attend hearings in the Family Courts, but to report publicly on what they see and hear, the President of the Family Division has said.
Oct 29, 2021

Judge credits psychological assessment with calming of “high octane” conflict between parents and care workers

A High Court judge has credited a psychological assessment "almost entirely" for helping repair a deeply polarised relationship between care workers and the parents of a boy with serious disabilities who is subject of an application for a care order.
Oct 26, 2021

Council decision to keep asylum seekers who were putative children in hotel accommodation was unlawful, High Court rules

The London Borough of Brent breached its section 20 duties under the Children Act 1989 when it chose not to provide proper accommodation to unaccompanied asylum seekers while awaiting an assessment of their age, a High Court judge has ruled.
Oct 22, 2021

Judge criticises Mackenzie Friend over timing of application to revoke adoption order

A disputed adoption case has highlighted the problems of reliance on a Mackenzie Friend rather than a solicitor in proceedings, a Family Division judge has suggested.
Oct 21, 2021

Barrister specialising in complex public law work joins 1GC

Sam Whittam, a specialist in complex public law work, has joined 1GC with immediate effect.
Oct 20, 2021

Senior family judge gives "steer" on when hearings should be in-person, criticises speed of implementation of Public Law Working Group recommendations

The central theme running through the approach that should apply to whether hearings should be held in person, remotely or a hybrid is that the parties and their lawyers should normally be physically present at court on those occasions when an important decision may be taken, the President of the Family Division has suggested.
Oct 19, 2021

Family President issues memorandum explaining principles on expert evidence, hits out at "pseudo-science"

The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has issued a memorandum seeking to explain the principles applied by the Family Court when it considers whether to authorise or admit expert evidence.
Oct 18, 2021

Independent review defends claim there are unnecessary child protection investigations

The Independent Review of Children’s Social Care team has stood by its initial view that councils carry out unnecessary child protection investigations, although it has admitted that comments from Ofsted questioning that stance had given it “pause for thought”.


September 30, 2021

Two-child benefit rule held lawful

Recently, in R (SC, CB and 8 children) v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions & ors [2021] UKSC 26 (“SC”), the Supreme Court held that the two-child rule (contained in the Welfare Reform and Work Act 2016) limiting key subsistence benefits to two children per household, was lawful. Yaaser Vanderman investigates.
September 20, 2021

Looked after children in unregulated settings

What should local authorities do in the case of looked after children under 16 who are placed in unregulated settings after 9 September 2021? Samantha Broadfoot QC investigates.
September 10, 2021

Placing children in Scotland

What do English local authorities need to know when placing a child in Scotland? Ellen Crofts and Lucia Clark explain.
September 10, 2021

Notification to the biological father

Fran Massarella reports on an appeal against an order refusing a mother’s application for permission to dispense with the requirement for the local authority to give notice of the proceedings to the child’s biological father.
September 03, 2021

Looked after children and secure accommodation after 9 September

David Lock QC considers the looming crisis for children in local authority care being deprived of their liberty. What should local authorities do for looked after children in secure accommodation on 9 September?
September 03, 2021

Revocation of adoption orders

The Court of Appeal recently heard an appeal against an order dismissing an application by the birth mother of three children to revoke an adoption order made in respect of those children. Fran Massarella looks at the outcome.
August 27, 2021

Local Authority Insight Series - Local Authority Duties in Intercountry Adoption

ON-DEMAND WEBINAR: Ruth Cabeza, barrister and author of the text, International Adoption, from Harcourt Chambers and Joy Hopkinson, Principal Social Care Lawyer from London Borough of Lambeth, discuss the issues for local authorities dealing with overseas placements both in a private and public law context.
August 27, 2021

Public Law Proceedings and the 1996 Hague Convention

Henry Setright QC and Chris Barnes consider a recent decision of the High Court examining the use of the 1996 Hague Convention in the context of public law proceedings.
August 20, 2021

Discharging medically fit children from hospital during a shortage of accommodation

Gemma Brannigan explains how two NHS Trusts recently obtained a High Court Order to require a child to be removed from hospital.
August 20, 2021

Local authority failings: a way out?

Natalie Cross looks at the lessons to be learned from a ruling where a High Court judge was heavily critical of a local authority in care proceedings.
August 13, 2021

Authorising unregistered care and deprivation of liberty

Martin Downs analyses the Supreme Court’s judgment on the use of the inherent jurisdiction to authorise the deprivation of liberty of children in alternative restrictive placements by a local authority in cases where an approved secure children’s home is unavailable.
August 13, 2021

How not to conduct a placement application (part 2)

Rebecca Cross looks at a Court of Appeal ruling in a case where the ADM [agency decision maker] failed to carry out their duties properly.
August 13, 2021

Confidential information and subject access disclosure

Matthew Alderton reports on a case where a council was entitled to final injunctive relief to prevent the defendant from using confidential information that had been disclosed inadvertently.
August 05, 2021

The Public Law Outline 2014

The following Family practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the operation of the Public Law Outline 2014 during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
July 30, 2021

Croydon/Home Office working agreement on asylum seekers whose age was challenged, judged lawful

Joshua Swirsky discusses a recent case that considered local authority responsibility for young asylum seekers whose age had been challenged.
July 29, 2021

Interim care orders and newborn babies on Law Pod UK

As part of LawPod UK’s Family Law series, Richard Ager and Clare Ciborowska discuss with Rosalind English the distressing and emotional business of removing newborns from their mothers when it is decided that it is in the infant’s best interests.
July 23, 2021

Maximising support for families in a system under strain

The children social care sector needs urgent reform to support families and avoid crisis, writes Jo Porter.
July 23, 2021

Accusations in judgments of misconduct

A social worker has recently been awarded damages by the European Court of Human Rights for unfair accusations of professional misconduct. Charlotte Gilmartin analyses the ruling.
July 20, 2021

Everyone’s Invited: the legal implications

What is the legal framework for schools in responding to 'Everyone's Invited'? Fiona Scolding QC, Samantha Broadfoot QC, Leon Glenister and Joe Thomas discuss.
July 16, 2021

Public law children case update: May 2021

Kerry Cockayne analyses important recent rulings for childcare lawyers on special guardianship orders, discharge of care orders, and joinder of foster carers.
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