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Delight and Dole

The Children Act 10 Years On


A critical appraisal of the effectiveness of the Children Act

Paperback £38.00
Delight and Dole: The Children Act 10 Years On is a critical appraisal of the first ten years of the Children Act and is edited by the Rt Hon Lord Justice Thorpe and Catherine Cowton. The 18 highly influential contributors including Rt Hon Lady Justice Hale, the Hon Mr Justice Wall, Amanda Finlay of the Lord Chancellor's Department and Anthony Hewson, Chairman of CAFCASS, assess the effectiveness of the Act and highlight current and future problem areas.

Delight and Dole: The Children Act 10 Years On is the outcome of the President of the Family Division's Fourth interdisciplinary conference held at Dartington Hall in September 2001.


  • Delay and the Challenges of the Children Act
    Amanda Finlay


  • Children's Rights and the Impact of Two International Conventions: The UNCRC and the ECHR
    Jane Fortin
  • Interface of Children Involved in Criminal Matters. Vulnerable and a Risk to Others - The Double Challenge
    Dr Susan Bailey
  • Troubled Children and Criminal Justice
    His Honour Judge Mark Hedley
  • When Young People Refuse Treatment: Balancing Autonomy and Protection
    Dr Mike Shaw


  • Adoption
    James Paton
  • A Study of Care Plans and their Implementation and Relevance for Re W and B and Re W (Care Plan)
    Professor Judith Harwin and Morag Owen


  • Expert Evidence 10 Years after the Implementation of the Children Act 1989: Where are we?
    The Hon Mr Justice Wall
  • ADSS Position Statement
    Expert Reporting in Public Law Cases
  • Dilemmas of the Corporate Parent
    Chris Davies
  • Expert Witnesses
    Pat Monro
  • The Use of Expert Witnesses: Useful or Useless?
    Jenny Stevenson and Dr Arlene Vetere


  • The Skill of Representing Children at a Time of Chaos
    Vivienne Reed
  • Children, Safety and Parental Contact in Private Law Proceedings
    Rukhsana Farooqi Thakrar
  • Speech by Chairman of CAFCASS
    Anthony PM Hewson
  • President's Response


  • International Adoption
    Professor Carolyn Hamilton


  • Feedback from Small Groups and Discussions
  • Resolution on the Adoption and Children Bill


  • The Way Forward
    The Rt Hon Lady Justice Hale
  • Concluding Comments
    The Rt Hon Lord Justice Thorpe
"an important and very useful book"
Child and Family Social Work
Dartington Hall Conference, 28–30 September 2001

The Interdisciplinary Committee of the President of the Family Division organised, at Dartington in Devon, a memorable conference taking stock of the Children Act 10 years on. It was, in every sense, an interdisciplinary occasion and provided a fascinating discussion and interchange of ideas between the judiciary at every level, senior representatives of the Lord Chancellor’s Department and the Department of Health, directors of social services, medical consultants, academics and other professionals concerned with child care.

It was extremely valuable to meet and together to look back over the life of the Children Act and to look forward to discuss how the provision of services for children can be streamlined and improved.

The papers presented to the Conference deserve a wider audience. The Conference rapporteur, Catherine Cowton from the Family Bar, has collated and edited them and the discussions on them. With her invaluable help, this publication will give an opportunity for others in the field to reflect on the best way forward to provide support for children who come within the family justice system and to give those children as good an outcome as is possible.

Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss
President of the Family Division

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