Category Archives: Law

“An Act Relating to Support for Parental Victims of Child Domestic Violence”

Fantastic news this week from Florida, where Alice Flowers has been campaigning for legislation in this field, since the tragic death of her sister.

FL HB 1199 makes the requirement for Support for Parental Victims of Child Domestic Violence; Requires DJJ, in collaboration with specified organizations, to develop & maintain updated information & materials regarding specified services & resources; requires department to make information & materials available through specified means; requires domestic violence training for law enforcement officers to include training concerning child-to-parent cases.

After the bill was passed unanimously in the Florida Senate, it passed to the House of Representatives, where it was sponsored by District 45 State Representative, Kamia Brown. The final vote on May 3rd was again unopposed, and it now goes to be signed by the Governor, Rick Scott, after which it will be enacted on July 1st. Florida then becomes the first state in the United States to recognise child to parent violence. Continue reading

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Beyond Parental Control: no attribution of blame.

What happens when it is no longer safe for a child to remain at home? Sometimes children go to live with another family member, perhaps an absent parent, or a grandparent, aunt or uncle. I have heard of a young man going to live at his girlfriend’s parents’ house. These sorts of arrangements can work well, particularly if the violence and abuse is very specifically directed to only one person. But if it is more general, then the chances are it will re-emerge in the new home and this arrangement will also break down. Some young people may find themselves admitted to hospital where their risky behaviour is considered to be caused by mental ill health. Some may end up in youth custody as the result of a very serious assault. Others, perhaps the majority, will be taken in to the care of the local authority, whether as a voluntary agreement or on a care order, as “beyond parental control”. (Where you end up then seems sadly to be something of a lottery and must be the subject of future posts.) Continue reading

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The use of section 20 placements in CPV

This post follows on from a small discussion I took part in on twitter on June 2nd, itself emerging from a conference asking Is the Child Protection System Fit for Purpose? #CPConf2015 (Sadly one which I did not attend.) There are numerous write-ups of the conference available on line. The organisers have one here. You can read one from a parent who took part here.

This is about an issue that I would like to understand more as it effects real people (rather than in a theoretical way), and I’m relying on you all to help me: the use of section 20 placements (Children Act 1989) when parents seek support with an abusive child from Children’s Services.  It seems to me that this would be an important part of a tiered response, and yet I hear very negative comments about the implementation.  Through my own experience, through listening to people, particularly on twitter (but also “real life”) I have conjured up a series of statements and questions as a starter for debate. So here goes …. Continue reading

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