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Child Access

Volume 407: debated on Monday 23 June 2003

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To ask the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs, if he will publish the response to the proposal of Fathers 4 Justice that in proceedings relating to child access a mother who refuses to comply with a court ruling should be subject to a community service order; and if he will make a statement. [120418]

The Children Act Sub-Committee (CASC) of the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Board on Family Law under lord justice Wall published a report last year called "Making Contact Work". The report made a number of recommendations in relation to enforcement of contact orders. This included consideration of the power to impose a community service order when a parent failed to comply with a contact order. As part of the Government's work on responding to the report's proposals, a stakeholder group on facilitation and enforcement of contact was established in June 2002. The group has been considering ways in which parents can be supported to reach workable agreements, how contact might positively be achieved, as well as how enforcement mechanisms can be made more effective. It is anticipated that a full response to the CASC report's recommendations will be published later this summer.