Family court chief relaunches 26-week deadline for children cases

Researching Reform

Britain’s family court boss, Andrew McFarlane, has started a campaign to get people working inside the family justice system to stick to the guidance in place for public family law (care) cases, including enforcing a 26-week deadline in which to complete these cases.

The deadline was originally designed to ensure that children did not languish inside the care system, but experiences inside the system have shown the deadline to be pointless. Any length of time away from what children know is for the most part hugely detrimental to them, including abrupt removals which mean children are isolated from the people and places they have known all their lives.

While this kind of removal may be appropriate in some cases, it is only appropriate in a very small number of instances, with most children benefitting from regular and safe contact with their natural families in environments they are familiar with, or…

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