Challenges for organisations working with children are growing rapidly. Baby P and subsequent cases such as Daniel Pelka and Star Hobson have shone a bright light on safeguarding children generally, as well as leading to unprecedented levels of care applications and continuing structural reform. Our specialists understand the blurring of demarcation lines and responsibilities between professionals in health, education and social care and the issues these bring. We offer pragmatic, inclusive, sensitive and specialist advice through alignment of your resources and specialists.
- a national reputation, with experience spanning education, health and social care;
- lawyers seconded to NHS Trusts, Local Authorities, private providers and national inspectorates;
- NHS Resolution panel members;
- an established client base, over 50 unitary or top-tier local authorities, over 50 NHS Trusts, national charities, insurers, national sporting bodies and independent health and social care providers; and
- a team of in-house barristers experienced in the family Courts.
We offer a full range of services spanning advisory matters on safeguarding and child protection, employment, public inquiries and investigations, contentious claims and court proceedings in the family and other courts.
We also have extensive experience in representing NHS bodies where it is necessary to intervene in care proceedings, including in cases of fabricated and induced illness matters, and to authorise a child’s deprivation of liberty. We’ve also been successful in seeking orders on behalf of an NHS Integrated Care Board via the Court’s inherent jurisdiction to seek passport surrender and port alerts to prevent a family taking their child out of the country.
Wigan BC v Y
Wigan BC v Y (Refusal to Authorise Deprivation of Liberty)  EWHC 1982 (Fam) (14 July 2021) concerning the deprivation of liberty of a 12 year old child with mental health issues.
RL v Nottinghamshire CC & Anor
Representing the Trust in a parent’s application to reopen a finding of fact in relation to a fracture of a baby RL v Nottinghamshire CC & Anor (Rev1)  EWFC 13 (08 March 2022).
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Public Consultation on a Mandatory Reporting Regime for Child Sexual Abuse
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HXA and YXA failure to remove cases: Key considerations in anticipation of the Supreme Court judgment
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Our immediate future shows a renewed focus on foster care. We’re going to see a new nationwide-drive to recruit foster carers and the implementation of a more robust, and potentially financially-generous system for encouraging friends and family to care for their relatives (both when extended families cannot cope or provide care for any reason).
Independent review of children’s social care – focus on foster care
This summer saw the publication of a report describing itself as a ‘once in a generation’ opportunity to reset children social care. Based on the current trajectory, the report concluded that 100,000 children would be held in care in the next decade.
Complex safeguarding allegations
Whilst Schools and Academies exist to educate and inspire young people, their primary obligation is their protection. Keeping Children Safe in Education (“KCSIE”) is at the heart of everything that educational institutions do and impacts on every decision, however big or small.
'Barry Bennell case' webinar
This webinar looks at the three key themes in the decision, and is aimed at sports & social clubs (including safeguarding officers).
Legal Update - Shared Insights
Shared Insights: Safeguarding Forum. Child Safeguarding in childcare proceedings
Our speakers looked at Child Safeguarding in childcare proceedings.
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Child Abuse & Social Care Forum
Watch now on-demand our Child Abuse & Social Care Forum.
KCSIE: How to research applicants' online profiles
The Department for Education published the draft 2022 version of Keeping Children Safe in Education. A few changes caught the eye and the one that most of us in education are discussing relates to a new set of text that suggested checking the online presence of job applicants.
High Court strikes out ‘failure to remove’ Human Right Act claim against two local authorities
The High Court has considered the application of the Human Right Act to local authorities in cases where they are carrying out their statutory child protection functions after dismissing the latest ‘failure to remove’ claim against two local authorities.
Legal Update - Shared Insights
Shared Insights: Preparing for 2022 – the big issues for legal teams across health and social care
We were delighted to be joined by Dr Nigel Sturrock, Regional Medical Director for the Midlands at NHS England and NHS Improvement. He gave an overview of the pressures placed on the NHS by the pandemic, including the impact on urgent and emergency care, elective procedures and staffing.
Children's Trust webinar: Rebuilding Children's Services
In this session, we look at how to manage and respond to current challenges, including interventions, service failures and serious incidents, and consider future models for long term transformation of services.
Court delivers key ruling on a local authority’s duty of care in ‘Failure to Remove’ negligence claims
Settled law on failure to remove negligence claims: does section 20 of the Children Act 1989 create a lasting duty of care?
The judgment in YXA v Wolverhampton City Council  is significant for several reasons.
Children's social care forum
Catch up on this year’s social care forum where we discussed developments on liability for friends and family foster placements, lessons learned from pursuing recoveries from abusers in child sex abuse cases and also the impact of the ABI Code of Practice for responding to civil claims for child sexual abuse following recommendations of the IICSA.
Children’s social care review – Case for Change – a step towards consensus?
The Independent review of children’s social care in England describes itself as a ‘once in a generation opportunity to transform the children’s social care system’. Some might also see it as a poisoned chalice.
More guidance on failure to remove claims: what are the implications for children's services and SAR teams?
Local authorities now have the benefit of a flurry of recent judgments on the issue of the existence of a duty of care in children’s ‘failure to remove’ cases.
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In June 2020 the University of Birmingham published a research briefing exploring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on child protection practice.
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The Coronavirus Bill – Social Care implications
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Historical child abuse and limitation – check your public liability policies
Last week the Court of Appeal handed down a decision that has significant implications for all those organisations that may face historical abuse claims.
What we have learned about costs claims in child abuse cases
The Courts are slowly accepting that these cases are very much now in the mainstream of litigation, they still do have their quirks which many judges consider separate them from the pool of general personal injury litigation.
Understanding the risk - looked after children trends and the impact on claims
Last month the government published the latest annual update on the numbers of looked after children.
Potential liability for child sexual and criminal exploitation
The Children Act 1989 imposes a statutory duty on Local Authorities for Looked After and certain other young people as they prepare for adulthood.
Foster Parents – the carers’ perspective might help your planning
Almost every year the Fostering Network publishes a State of the Nation’s Foster Care Summary report after surveying foster carers.
Social care - October 2019
Welcome to our social care newsletter for October 2019.
Negligence in performance of statutory functions
The Supreme Court decision in Poole Borough Council v GN and another  UKSC 25 addresses key legal principles in relation to duty of care connected with the performance of statutory services by public bodies.
Foster carers are not ‘workers’ according to the Employment Tribunal
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Abuse and social care newsletter - August 2019
This edition looks at CN & GN v Poole Borough Council, Kuoni, faith abuse cases, limitation in child abuse negligence claims, applications to strike out, and Human Rights Act experts.
Current trends in faith abuse cases
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Human Rights Act experts: are they necessary in Human Rights Act claims?
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