WALES/ENGLAND – The Government Response to the Family Justice Review: A system with children and families at its heart

The Family Justice System in England and Wales helps people deal with family problems which sometimes have to be taken to court to get sorted out. For example, it makes decisions about whether children need to go into care to stay safe. And it makes decisions about what should happen when parents split up and they cannot agree on how to look after their children.

In 2010, the Government set up the Family Justice Review to look at the way the Family Justice System works. The panel spoke to experts, people who work in the family courts (for example, social workers), parents, children and young people. It has suggested ways in which the system can be improved for the children and families who are in it.

This publication presents the Government’s response to the Family Justice Review and sets out how its recommendations will be taken forward.


  • Joint Foreword
  • The structure of this report
  • The Reform Story – an undeniable case for change
  • A system with children’s needs at its heart
  • Changes to public law
  • Changes to private law
  • Developing the Family Justice Service and system leadership
  • The judiciary and wider workforce
  • The impacts of reform
  • What’s next…
  • Detailed response to each recommendation
  • Developing the evidence base on family justice: update on progress
  • Impact Assessments
  • Key references and useful supporting
  • documents





Department of Education

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