In The News


First Ever Post-Adoption Contact Appeal Confirms Adopters Have Final Say

Researching Reform

A couple asking for post-adoption contact with their daughter have lost their appeal.

Judges in the Court of Appeal concluded that a refusal to accommodate contact by the child’s adoptive parents trumped the toddler’s right to stay in contact with her birth family.

The case is believed to the first of its kind to reach the Court of Appeal since the implementation of s.51A in the Adoption and Children Act 2002 (ACA 2002). The legislation allows for contact with family members and other significant individuals in a child’s life, after adoption.

The judges hearing the case dismissed the challenge after the adopters in the case refused to accommodate contact between the toddler and her birth parents.

The judgment reinforces the current legal position that post-adoption contact will only be granted in rare cases and usually only where adopters agree to such an arrangement.

The birth parents who have learning difficulties…

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91% of Parents Say They Have been Bullied By Judges in Family Law Cases

Researching Reform

A Twitter poll carried out by this site has found that 91% of parents going through family law proceedings have been bullied by judges during their cases.

The poll was created in conjunction with our campaign to ensure that families are treated fairly and with respect during the life of their cases. Since launching the campaign we have received hundreds of messages from families saying they were abused by judges during their cases and offering details of their experiences.

The shock revelation comes after barristers complained last month that they were being bullied by judges during court hearings. The Bar Council immediately acknowledged the problem and issued guidance offering lawyers protections against bullying by judges in court.

Researching Reform is now calling on the President of the Family Division to do the same for children, parents and families in child welfare cases.

Our call follows a ruling by the Court…

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Foster Carers Of Boy Who Put Bomb on Parsons Green Tube Sue Council

Researching Reform

The foster carers of Ahmed Hassan, a teenage boy who tried to detonate a bomb on the underground as it reached Parsons Green, are suing Surrey County council for failing to tell them that the boy had been trained by Daesh (IS).

Hassan, who is originally from Iraq, came to the UK as a child migrant and suffered with mental health problems. He told officials that he had been groomed to fight in Iraq by Daesh militants.

The incident at Parsons Green tube, in which 51 people were injured resulting in a life sentence for 18 year-old Hassan, means that Ron and Penny Jones are not allowed to foster any more children.

The Jones’ say the council should have told them about the conversation immigration officials had with Ahmed in which he said that he had been trained to kill by Daesh soldiers. The claim against the council is believed…

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Support Not Separation

Today we have sent this OPEN LETTER TO LOCAL AUTHORITIES DEVELOPING ALGORITHMS FOR “CHILD PROTECTION” to Brent Council as well asBristol, Hackney, Newham and Thurrock Councils

Brent Council,

Dear Cllr Mili Patel, Cabinet Member for Children’s Safeguarding, Early Help and Social Care,

We understand that Brent Council is one of five councils developing predictive analytic systems [algorithms] to be used for “child protection” – the others are Bristol, Hackney, Newham and Thurrock. The mediareportsthat at least 377,000 people’s data has been used, which may include: school attendance and exclusion, housing association repairs and arrears, police records on “antisocial behaviour”, and domestic violence.

You werequotedas saying: “We are trialling a tool which has the potential to be best practice in the sector and which we hope will help our social workers to make decisions during child protection investigations by providing them with further information about a…

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