A number of voluntary adoption agencies have jointly launched a new scheme, ‘It’s All About Me’, to encourage more people in England to adopt ‘harder to place’ children....
The Austin Lafferty Solicitors & Estate Agents Blog
Austin Lafferty, solicitors and estate agents in Glasgow, East Kilbride and Hamilton, provide legal advice to the businesses and individuals of Glasgow, East Kilbride, Hamilton and beyond. Get legal advice you can trust from Austin Lafferty. Below are details of our latest posts.
Around 59% of divorce attorneys in America have seen an increase in the number of cases using evidence taken from dating websites during the past three years, according to a recent survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML)....
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published a bulletin giving annual statistics on the number of families by type, people in families by family type and children in families by type in 1996 and 2012....
The launch of Scotland’s first national parenting strategy will mean that parents will benefit from easier and better access to information and support, claims the Scottish Government....
A new study from Australia has found that many non-resident fathers would like to have more contact and involvement with their children.
The research, by the Australian Institute of Family Studies, found that of fathers who have some contact with their child who lives all or part of their time with the child’s mother, 47% would like to be a lot more involved with their child. Another 28% would like to be a little more involved.
The study also found that perspectives differed about the extent to which fathers provide financial or other in-kind contributions. Australian Institute of Family Studies Researcher, Dr Jennifer Baxter, said:
“Quite often these studies rely on one parent’s perspective but we know that each parent has their own perspective and it’s interesting to look at this issue of parental involvement from both points of view,
A recent poll of members of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) has found that 51% reported seeing an increase in the use of postnuptial agreements during the past three years....
The Scottish Government has published its Programme for Government 2012–13, in which it has announced its intention to introduce the Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill. The Bill will allow same sex couples to marry and allow civil partnerships to be registered through a religious ceremony....
Divorce and relationship breakdown is leading 25 people to seek help with unmanageable debt each day, according to recent figures from debt charity the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS).
A total of 9,099 people counselled by CCCS during 2011 cited divorce or separation as the main cause of their debt problem, with women outnumbering men two-to-one.
Relationship breakdown costs the UK an estimated £44bn a year and divorce and separation ranks as the fourth largest cause of problem debt among CCCS clients, behind unemployment, reduced income and budgeting problems, with two thirds (66%) of those affected being women.
A Scottish Parliamentary Committee is to investigate how decisions are made about whether children should be removed from their family homes and placed in care.
Launching the inquiry, Education and Culture Committee Convener Stewart Maxwell MSP said:
"This inquiry is not about rushing to make judgements about the systems currently in place. It is about asking the difficult questions to make sure that these systems really are working for children and their families.
"Our committee will examine the processes involved in deciding whether to remove a child from the family home and consider whether these are consistent across the country. Only by doing this can we really be sure that we are making the best decisions for children who may be abused or neglected."
As part of the inquiry, the Committee has launched a call for evidence, seeking views on key questions:
- Are decisions made on the basis of a clear, fully developed and agreed evidence base that demonstrates what is most effective for children and their families?
- Is there consistency in decision-making across the country?
- Can general assumptions ever be made about fitness to parent or must each situation be fully assessed on its individual circumstances?
- What evidence is available to demonstrate that children who are removed from the family home, whether temporarily or permanently, enjoy better outcomes than they otherwise would have had?
- How are decisions made on whether a child, once removed from the family home, should be returned to that home, or removed permanently? Is the speed of decision making appropriate?
- Where a child has been returned to the family home, what type of support is most effective in ensuring that the child will enjoy greater stability and security?
As the Northern Ireland Assembly carries out a debate on the subject of kinship care, the Fostering Network has called on the Government to launch a public awareness campaign to ensure kinship carers get the essential advice and support they need.
At a point of crisis when a child can no longer live with its birth parents, their families do not always have access to important information about the range of options available. This means they and the child could miss out on vital help and support they are entitled to receive.
Often the best option that could be available is formal kinship care, where the child could qualify for services that all children in care receive. The relative looking after the child could also access the finances, practical support and training on offer to foster carers.
Margaret Kelly, director of the Fostering Network Northern Ireland, said: “As the vast majority of formal kinship carers in Northern Ireland are our members we know how valuable they find access to the extra support available. The financial and practical support, as well as training and advice, makes a huge difference.
“However, we know too many families don’t have access to the right information at that challenging and critical time. A public awareness campaign would be an important step forward in ensuring these families are well informed and can make the right decision for them and the children.