The Children and Families Act 2014 seeks to improve services for vulnerable children and support strong families. It underpins wider reforms to ensure that all children and young people can succeed, no matter what their background.
The changes to the law to give greater protection to vulnerable children, better support for children whose parents are separating, a new system to help children with special educational needs and disabilities, and help for parents to balance work and family life.
It also ensures vital changes to the adoption system can be put into practice, meaning more children who need loving homes are placed faster. Reforms for children in care can be implemented including giving them the choice to stay with their foster families until their 21st birthday.
Key changes to the Law
The Act seeks to reform legislation relating to the following areas:
- adoption and children in care
- aspects of the family justice system
- children and young people with special educational needs
- the Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England
- statutory rights to leave and pay for parents and adopters
- time off work for ante-natal care
- the right to request flexible working