blog

The latest updates from our specialist practice in child and family law.

Posted: 21st April 2017
Author: CLP
holding hands

Eye Can Talk is a blog which is written by an 11 year old who is non-verbal due to his severe cerebral palsy but who has learned to communicate using an eye gaze system

https://eyecantalknet/communication/

This section of the blog explains how Jonathon went from being ‘locked in’ to using eye gaze communication to write poetry and his own blog Jonathan had one of his poems read out on Radio 2 on Easter Sunday https://eyecantalknet/ This is inspiring for all of the families out there trying to battle the special education system to get access to new assistive communication technology for their children

We are helping a number of families at the moment to seek specification and quantification of AACT

Read more...

Posted: 14th March 2017
Author: Kieran Brockerton-baker

Good luck to Emily Bower who is currently in training to run her first marathon in Brighton on Sunday 9th April 2017 for Macmillan Cancer Support

If any of you would like to support her fundraising efforts then please see her Just Giving page below:

https://wwwjustgivingcom/fundraising/Emily-Bower1

Read more...

Posted: 14th March 2017
Author: Emily Bower
holding hands

Adoption is an option of last resort; a highly intrusive and draconian order made where ‘nothing else will do’, but as Lord Justice McFarlane questions; “how do we know this is so?”

In his lecture to the Family Justice Council, Lord Justice McFarlane highlighted the need for more research to be undertaken in order to justify permanent removal of children from their birth families He suggests that “too many children are being forcibly adopted against the wishes of their families and prevented from having any contact with their natural parents”

He goes onto explain that “the difficulties facing adopters and adopted children… have been made significantly more difficult with the ever-increasing facility to trace and make contact, in an uncontrolled

Read more...

Posted: 14th February 2017
Author: Kieran Brockerton-baker

Read more...

Posted: 7th February 2017
Author: CLP
holding hands

If your child has special educational needs and is due to transfer to a new phase of education then the 15 February deadline may apply to you!

Local Authorities have a duty to amend Statements of Special Educational Needs (SSEN) or Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) by 15 February of the calendar year in which the child is due to transfer from one phase of schooling to another This includes all phase transfers even when the child attends provision which can run from 03 -19 years It is particularly important to those children who are due to transfer from primary to secondary education and from secondary education to Sixth-Form education

To enable Local Authorities

Read more...

Posted: 27th January 2017
Author: Emily Bower
holding hands

In his January View from the President’s Chambers ‘Children and Vulnerable Witnesses – where are we?’ Sir James Mumby, President of the Family Division comments on the Cobb Review and the changes that need to be made to the family justice system, particularly in relation to accommodating children and vulnerable witnesses in domestic violence and harm cases In his view, “progress has been slow” and urgent action is now required

Sir James Mumby has, since 2014, been pressing the need to reform the way in which vulnerable people give evidence in family proceedings He believes this issue is something in which “the family justice system lags woefully behind the criminal justice system”

Section 34 of The Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence

Read more...

Posted: 24th January 2017
Author: Emily Bower
holding hands

The Department for Education has published an update from the Adoption Leadership Board showing performance figures for the adoption system for April to June 2016 The key findings were as follows:-

  • There has been a 10% decrease in the number of children waiting to be placed with an adoptive family As at 30th June 2016, there were 2,000 children with a placement order not yet placed with an adoptive family compared to the 2,210 children waiting as at 31st March 2016
  • There has been a decrease in the time taken between a child entering care and being placed with a family for children who have been adopted The latest quarterly data suggests there

    Read more...

Posted: 20th January 2017
Author: Emily Bower
holding hands

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 (LASPO) which came into force in April 2013, made a number of changes to the provision and scope of legal aid including family law cases

The key change for our clients is that most private law services are now only available to the victims of domestic violence To be eligible for legal aid, a client must produce ‘trigger evidence’ to prove that that they are a victim of abuse

Legal aid is also available for children disputes if the client can produce certain ‘trigger evidence’ Sections 33 and 34 of the Civil Legal Aid (Procedure) Regulations 2012 sets out the supporting evidence required in order to be in scope for legal

Read more...

Posted: 19th December 2016
Author: CLP
holding hands

Children and young people who are struggling at school with a learning difficulty are entitled to apply for an assessment by their local authority to see if they are eligible for an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan EHC plans were introduced in September 2014 and have replaced the old statement system The local authority should complete an EHC assessment and if appropriate issue a plan within 20 weeks

It was stated in National Statistics published by the Department of Education (SFR 17/2016, 26 May 2016) that during 2015 29,015 children and young people were assessed and of these, 962% received a Statement or EHC plan

Unfortunately not all those who applied for an assessment

Read more...

Posted: 29th November 2016
Author: CLP
holding hands

The National Autistic Society has recently undertaken research based on surveys of approximately 1000 parents, carers, children and young people to look at how well the system of dealing with Special Educational Needs & Disability is working in England and how well the system is meeting the needs of those with a diagnosis of autism

The Children & Families Act 2014 came into force over 2 years ago with one of the aims being to try and make the system easier and fairer for children and families

The National Autistic Society has published their research in a report which can be found at wwwautismorguk/schoolreport2016 and unfortunately shows that many families are still facing lengthy

Read more...