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Children Act 1989

Volume 714: debated on Thursday 12 November 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether there has been any recent consultation on amending section 41 of the Children Act 1989; if so, which organisations were consulted; according to what timetable; and what were the outcomes of the consultation. [HL6197]

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many organisations representing children have requested abandonment of named guardians for children to represent their interests in care and related proceedings. [HL6200]

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when a minister last met organisations representing children to discuss amending Section 41 of the Children Act 1989. [HL6201]

The work of CAFCASS guardians is crucial in securing the well-being of vulnerable children in the family justice system.

There has been a good deal of discussion about the most effective use of guardian resource in recent months. In particular, my officials have taken the views of the Family Justice Council on this issue. I have also received a number of representations, including from the Interdisciplinary Alliance for Children.

The Secretary of State has recently written to Sir Mark Potter in his role as the chair of the Family Justice Council to propose a way forward on this issue and a copy of this letter will be placed in the Library of the House.