Children and Families Act 2014: A failure of implementation

Report of Session 2022-23 - published 6 December 2022 - HL Paper 100



Chapter 1: Introduction

The Act

Post-legislative evaluation and scrutiny

Figure 1: Number of post-legislative scrutiny memoranda produced

Our inquiry

Box 1: A summary of our response to the SEND Green Paper

Chapter 2: Adoption

Figure 2: Number of children looked after during the year who were adopted

Fostering for adoption

Box 2: Early permanence placements: Fostering to adopt and concurrent planning

Race, ethnicity and adoption

Figure 3: The percentage of looked after children, looked-after children who were adopted during the year and under-18 population

Box 3: Adoption panels

The matching register

Post-adoption support


Kinship care

Figure 4: The number of children looked after during a year leaving via an adoption order or special guardianship order

Chapter 3: Family justice

Box 4: Public and private family law

26 week timeframe

Figure 5: The average number of weeks taken to complete proceedings

Figure 6: The percentage of cases completed within the 26 week timeframe

Box 5: Types of experts in the family court

Data use in the family justice system

Mediation and early legal advice

Box 6: Non-court-based dispute resolution methods

Children and the family court system

The presumption of parental involvement

Box 7: Considerations of the court when making decisions about children

Chapter 4: Employment rights

Shared parental leave

Box 8: Shared parental leave and pay

Box 9: Other family rights

Figure 7: Views of paternity leave, % of respondents (n=126)

Table 1: Take-up of statutory shared parental pay

Box 10: Kinship care—key concepts

Flexible working

Box 11: The most common types of flexible working arrangements

Figure 8: Businesses estimated percentage of workforce to return to their normal workplace on any given day, UK

Chapter 5: Building a better future for children and families

Mental health

Box 12: Responses to our survey

Early intervention

Avoiding ‘one size fits all’ approaches

Coherence and innovation in government

The need to embrace technology and better use of data

Communication with children and families

The voice of the child and the Children’s Commissioner

Summary of conclusions and recommendations

Appendix 1: List of Members and declarations of interest

Appendix 2: List of witnesses

Appendix 3: Call for evidence

Appendix 4: Chair’s correspondence on SEND

Appendix 5: Summary of private written evidence

Appendix 6: Online survey results

Appendix 7: Summary of the Barnet SEND visit

Appendix 8: Summary of the birth parents engagement event

Appendix 9: Summary of the Oxford visit

Appendix 10: Summary of the engagement session with One Adoption South Yorkshire

Appendix 11: Summary of the engagement session on mental health

Appendix 12: Summary of the engagement session with the Family Justice Young People’s Board

Appendix 13: Summary of the visit to a CAMHS clinic

Evidence is published online at and available for inspection at the Parliamentary Archives (020 7219 3074).

Q in footnotes refers to a question in oral evidence.

© Parliamentary copyright 2022