Now for the ‘triple whammy'. According to Community Care today, Sir Nicholas Wall, the president of the Family Division of the High Court, has written to the Legal Services Commission expressing serious concerns from judges about the new tendering process for family court legal aid work.
It is feared that the number of firms practising family court legal aid work may halve as a result of the new arrangements. Not only would that add to delays in the family courts, but it may also mean that it is much more difficult for children and young people to have access to experienced legal representatives in care proceedings.
The Ministry of Justice and the Department for Education need to set up a joint working party to tackle this thorny knot of problems about the care system and they need to do it now!