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Care Proceedings and Learning Disabled Parents

A Handbook for Family Lawyers

FROM £54.00

A handbook for all those involved in care proceedings where one or both of the parents is learning disabled.

A handbook for all those involved in care proceedings where one or both of the parents is learning disabled.

The book sets out the relevant policy and guidance in this area; considers and analyses the legal and practical arguments and issues likely to arise in learning disability cases; and concludes by focusing on the reported cases where learning disability has been an important feature.

This new edition has been comprehensively updated to provide an invaluable guide to this complex area for family lawyers and social workers.
  • Introduction
  • Learning Disabled Parenting: Policy & Law
  • The Multi-disciplinary Research Base
  • The Learning Disabled Parent and Significant Harm
  • Supporting the Learning Disabled Parent through Community Care Legislation
  • Assessing the Learning Disabled Parent
  • Litigation Capacity, Protected Parties and the Litigation Friend
  • Special Measures: Witness Competence and Witness Intermediaries
  • Learning Disability Case Summaries
"In a much needed new second edition from the Family Law imprint of Jordan Publishing Limited, this Handbook is aimed at family lawyers handling care proceedings in which one or both parents has a learning disability. Such cases are becoming more and more common. Invariably sensitive matters, they are replete with excruciatingly difficult problems and dilemmas for all concerned, from judges and lawyers through to the parents themselves and ultimately their children.

The arrival of this new edition is nothing if not timely. Author Abigail Bond, a leading expert in this field, refers to recent research which indicates that the children of learning disabled parents are over-represented in care proceedings -- hence the increasing awareness of this and related problems in the political sphere.

It is ‘a most welcome addition to the legal literature,’ as Mrs. Justice Pauffley remarks in the Foreword.

It is refreshing to see such an easy-to-read text on such a difficult subject. What is more, it is easy to navigate, with a detailed table of contents, and numbered paragraphs throughout. Researchers will be pleased to see all the relevant tables of cases, statutes, statutory instruments and conventions also included. There are seven appendices which include Family Procedure Rules 2010, Part 15 and Good Practice Guidance on Working with Parents with a Learning Disability.

This is a carefully researched and eminently practical work of reference. Any professionals working in this area of law should acquire a copy – or access the eBook on Jordan’s website." 

Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers

Watch the review

"Webster’s dictionary defines ‘handbook’ as a book capable of being conveniently carried as a ready reference. This latest title from the Family Law imprint of Jordan Publishing amply meets that definition.

It becomes an invaluable tool once the appendices are added. Containing as they do extracts from appropriate statutes, codes of practice and Good Practice guides, this succinct handbook really ought to be carried by practitioners wherever they go."

Andrew Norton, 1 Garden Court Family Law Chambers 

One of my most satisfying days as a family law advocate was when a local authority compromised its public law application in favour of my client, a ‘learning disabled’ mother. She and her son, who also had a learning disability, were to be supported and assisted by a carefully devised collection of measures, from a variety of agencies. I cannot now recall the form of order which resulted from the hearing. But what I shall never forget, as she left court, was the mother’s radiant smile. It signified joy, unadulterated joy, that she and her son could look forward to life together. It was one of those memorable occasions when it felt that something priceless had been achieved and it was a privilege for me personally to have been involved.

Public law applications where the parents (or one of them) have a learning disability pose particular difficulties for judges, lawyers and the many professionals who work within the family justice system. Cases in this special branch of the law require and deserve sensitive handling on the basis of sound knowledge. They are amongst the most demanding for any family practitioner or judge.

This erudite, concise and immensely readable handbook, therefore, is a most welcome addition to the legal literature. Abigail Bond’s lucid writing style enables the reader rapidly to develop an understanding of the development of policy relating to learning disabled parents. She provides a useful overview of the sociological, psychological and psychiatric research as well as an invaluable guide to procedure, including the appointment of a litigation friend.

Perhaps of most immediate interest to busy practitioners will be the chapter which analyses the various factors of importance relating to the threshold criteria and also the welfare principle. Special considerations most certainly apply where parents have a learning disability; and this book specifies how and why. The text is supported by a handy digest of the case-law and a full appendix including the 2007 Good Practice Guidelines.

In short, this succinct volume contains all of the required materials to litigate in this complex field. The revised edition includes an analysis of the ‘new’ cases added to the jurisprudence in this area since 2011, and addresses the important issue of competence to testify and the provision of ‘special measures’.
It remains highly recommended reading for children law specialists.

Anna Pauffley,
March 2014

Abigail Bond,
Barrister, St John's Chambers, Bristol

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