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The Family Justice Review panel today announce a package of recommendations aimed at tackling delays in the family justice system and to make sure that children and families are given the service they deserve

The key recommendations are:


  • A new six month time limit in care cases so delays are significantly reduced
  • Enabling people to make their own arrangements for their children when they separate, and only use courts when necessary
  • Overhauling the family justice system so that agencies and professionals work together with greater coherence to improve the experience and outcomes for children and families.

These recommendations follow the independent review panel findings that the current system of family justice is under huge strain.  Rising caseloads coupled with incoherent organisation and processes are causing damaging delays for children and families.  It takes on average over a year for an outcome in a care case - far too long in the life of a child.  The backlog of cases in the public law system means today, around 20,000 children are waiting for their futures to be decided.

David Norgrove, chair of the Family Justice Review, said:

'Our package of recommendations to the Government and the judiciary will make the current family justice system more effective.  We need to eliminate the shocking delays in the system.

'This is why we are recommending legislation to ensure that child protection cases must not be allowed to take any more than six months, save in exceptional circumstances.

'We also propose better ways for parents to be helped to keep the focus on their children as they separate, with information, education and mediation, and court action only if all that fails.

'Every year 500,000 children and adults are involved in the family justice system.  They turn to it at times of great stress and conflict.  It must deliver the best possible outcome for all the children and families who use it, because its decisions directly affect the lives and futures of all those involved, and have repercussions for society as a whole.'

Source: MOJ

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Written by Scott Buckler   
Thursday, 03 November 2011 15:55
Last Updated on Thursday, 03 November 2011 15:57


0 #1 Company Directorsuzymiller,
In the same way that disputing couples are expected to learn about how divorce mediation can keep them out of court and facilitate a more humane way through breakup, parents unable to find common ground on post-breakup co-parenting, need to experience the benefits of parenting classes and coaching - learning the necessary communication skills, techniques and mindset to allow for a positive parenting partnership to exist. Online shared diaries mean even when you're not talking to each other, the arrangements for the kids can still be made. Parents need to separate their own anger and pain from their role as co-parents. It's challenging - but not impossible. It's not something that 'the law' can enforce. It's more a question of education, and social expectation.
Suzy Miller

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