Family Proceedings

Ministry of Justice written question – answered on 16th June 2022.

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Photo of Esther McVey Esther McVey Conservative, Tatton

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what recent assessment he has made of the adequacy of the courts consideration of the welfare of children during private law children proceedings in the context of (a) safety measures (b) therapy services and (c) the Child Arrangements Programme.

Photo of Esther McVey Esther McVey Conservative, Tatton

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what progress has been made in implementing reforms to the Child Arrangements Programme as recommended in the report of the Expert Panel on Assessing Risk of Harm to Children and Parents in Private Law Children Cases, published in June 2020.

Photo of Esther McVey Esther McVey Conservative, Tatton

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what assessment he has made of the barriers to the voice of children in private law cases.

Photo of Esther McVey Esther McVey Conservative, Tatton

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what steps the Government is taking to implement the recommendations of the report of the Expert Panel on Assessing Risk of Harm to Children and Parents in Private Law Children Cases, published in June 2020, on the safety of abuse victims (a) before, (b) during and (c) after court proceedings.

Photo of James Cartlidge James Cartlidge Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice) , Assistant Whip

The Implementation Plan, published in response to ‘Assessing the Risk of Harm to Children and Parents in Private Law Proceedings’, outlined the Government’s assessment of the expert panel’s report and committed to a number of actions to reform the system, including the Child Arrangements Programme and improving safety at court. Since then, measures to better protect victims of domestic abuse and their children in the family court have been introduced via Sections 63, 65 and 67 of the Domestic Abuse Act. In addition, we are testing reforms to the Child Arrangements Programme and seeking to enhance the voice of the child through the Investigative Approach pilot which has launched in Dorset and North Wales, and through the flexible case management provisions introduced by Practice Direction 36Y.

The Government intends to publish a full update on progress against commitments made in the Implementation Plan in due course.

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