Children and families

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  • This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on children and families. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

    Commons Briefing Papers

    11.11.2016Brexit: the Brussels IIa regulation - cross-border child contact cases, and child abduction
    This note considers the effect of Brexit on the UK in terms of the Brussels IIa regulation concerning cross-border child contact cases, and international child abduction within the EU.
    10.10.2016Local authority support for children in need (England)
    This note sets out what is a "child in need" as defined in the Children Act 1989, the assessment process and the services available to children in need and their families in England.
    04.10.2016International Child Abduction
    This note sets out in summary the legal remedies to return a child following international child abduction, and also the permitted exceptions. Those affected by international child abduction should seek appropriate legal advice, and also contact Reunite International.
    11.08.2016The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and background
    This briefing concerns the establishment of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse, a statutory Inquiry which formally opened in July 2015. This Inquiry replaced the previous, non-statutory, Inquiry set up in July 2014 which saw both of its Chairs resign; on 4 August 2016, Justice Goddard resigned as the Chair of the statutory inquiry and on 11 August it was announced that Professor Alexis Jay would be the new Chair.
    29.04.2016Children: Grandparents and others who require leave of the court to apply for access
    This House of Commons library briefing paper explains the processes by which grandparents and others can agree access or residency with a child following, for example, parental separation.
    22.02.2016Women around the world: International Women's Day 2016
    This briefing gives an introduction to International Women's Day, celebrated on the 8th of March. It examines a variety of indicators for women's equality both in the UK and internationally.
    18.02.2016Welfare Reform and Work Bill 2015-16: Lords amendments
    The Welfare Reform and Work Bill 2015-16 had its Third Reading in the House of Lords on 9 February, and the Commons is due to consider Lords amendments on 23 February.
    20.01.2016Childcare Bill 2015-16: Analysis for Commons Report Stage (Bill 107)
    The paper analyses the Childcare Bill ahead of Report Stage in the House of Commons. The Bill proposes an additional 15 hours of free childcare for a qualifying child of working parents (for three and four year olds) and will place a duty on local authorities to publish information about childcare and related matters. The Bill relates to England only.
    26.10.2015Welfare Reform and Work Bill 2015-16 Committee Stage Report
    This Commons Library Briefing Paper summarises debate and amendments to the Bill during its committee stage in the House of Commons.
    18.09.2015Confidentiality and openness in the family courts: current rules and history of their reform
    This briefing paper considers transparency in the family courts, including communication of information and media attendance, and background on recent changes in this area.

    Lords Library Notes

    27.06.2016Historical Child Sex Abuse Investigations
    A number of investigations into historical child sex abuse in the UK have been launched by the police and public institutions in recent years. This follows allegations that claims of child sex abuse made against public figures had not been properly investigated in the past. This briefing focuses on the existing guidance for conducting these investigations and provides background information on recent investigations that have taken place. It has been written in preparation for a debate that is due to take place in the House of Lords on 30 June 2016 on the case for introducing statutory guidelines relating to the investigation of cases of historical child sex abuse.
    30.10.2015Impact of Pornography on Society
    This Library Note has been prepared in advance of the debate in the House of Lords on 5 November 2015 on the impact of pornography on society. This Note provides information on the definition of pornography and the current law on pornography. It also gives reference to recent evidence and a selection of key issues that have been raised in relation to the impact of pornography on both children and adults.
    10.06.2015Childcare Bill [HL] (HL Bill 9 of 2015-16)
    This Library Note provides background reading in advance of the second reading in the House of Lords of the Childcare Bill on 16 June 2015.
    03.12.2014Childcare Payments Bill (HL Bill 56 of 2014-15)
    This note provides an overview of the Childcare Payments Bill, and its passage through the House of Commons earlier this year, ahead of its second reading in the House of Lords on 9 December 2014.
    10.11.2014Impact of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on Children's and Young People's Online and Digital Interactions
    On 20 November 2014, the House of Lords is scheduled to debate the following motion: 'that this House takes note of the impact of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on children's and young people's online and digital interactions'
    15.08.2014The Impact of Personal Indebtedness in United Kingdom Households, Especially on Children
    This Library Note was prepared for a debate in the House of Lords on the impact of personal indebtedness in UK households, especially on children, which was scheduled to take place on 17 July 2014, but was postponed to a future date.


    04.05.2016Barriers to Healthy Food
    This briefing reviews current diets and barriers to healthy food including price, marketing, skills and location. It then outlines current initiatives to improve diets.
    30.03.2015Measuring Living Standards
    This POSTnote outlines different approaches to setting and measuring thresholds and their strengths and limitations. It also summarises research on recent trends in living standards and the key factors that influence them.
    14.10.2014Preventing Mitochondrial Disease
    This note describes new treatments designed to prevent mothers with mitochondrial disease passing their condition on to their children and looks at the issues raised by their potential use in IVF.
    23.07.2014Childhood Allergy
    A briefing which describes the prevalence of allergic disorders in children and the factors which contribute to the development of allergies in infancy and early childhood. It also summarises new developments in research and treatment and gives an overview of current health policy on allergy services.
    18.12.2013Special Educational Needs
    This POSTnote summarises the nature and diversity of special eduational needs (SEN) and discusses the support and outcomes for affected children and their families.
    16.07.2012Preventing Diabetes
    This POSTnote describes the causes of diabetes and the known risk factors, and examines policy options for diabetes prevention.

    Select Committee Reports

    02.12.2011Memorandum to the Education Select Committee on Post-legislative assessments of the Education and Inspections...
    Education Select Committee report [Commons]
    26.01.2011Sure start children's centres.
    Government response. Education Select Committee report [Commons]
    03.11.2010Cafcass's response to increased demand for its services.
    Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
    15.03.2010Sure Start children's centres.
    Children Schools and Families Select Committee report [Commons]
    03.03.2010The Review of Elective Home Education.
    Government response. Children Schools and Families Select Committee; Department for Children, Schools and Families report [Commons]

    Early Day Motions

    That this House congratulates Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, on the publication of its new report, Preventing Babies' Deaths: what needs to be done; notes that 17 ...
    That this House considers Sir Neil McKay's review of children's cardiac services has unreasonably weighted the odds against retaining the excellent children's cardiac centre at Leeds ...
    That this House notes that the parents of ill children often need to live in hospital wards with their children; further notes that living expenses such as meals are not paid for by ...
    That this House welcomes the joint venture between Wolverhampton University and Walsall Schools to promote the best educational practice that supports the attainment of children from ...
    That this House welcomes the Saving Lives Campaign ... Drive Safely Because i-Count launched by the charity Kids Count and other associated bodies; notes that the campaign draws attention ...


    • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
    • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
    • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
    • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
    • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses