The architect of the major reforms which put children at the heart of the family justice system has been reappointed as chair of the Family Justice Board (FJB).
David Norgrove, who chaired the wide-ranging Family Justice review in 2011, will be in position for a further two-year term from 9 July 2014 leading the Family Justice Board (FJB). He has been the body’s inaugural chair since it was set up in 2012.
The largest family justice reforms for a generation came into effect on 22 April, following recommendations made by the review, and firmly put children at the heart of the system.
Family Justice Minister Simon Hughes said:
I am delighted that David Norgrove has been reappointed as the chair of the Family Justice Board. He has played a key role in identifying and driving through the reforms that have firmly put children at the heart of the system.
The changes made this year mark a significant moment for the family justice system, when the proposals made by the family justice review were delivered. However we aren’t going to rest on our laurels and I look forward to working with David to further improve the system.
The Family Justice Review found the family justice system suffered from excessive delays, with care and supervision cases taking 56 weeks. These delays harmed children’s chances of finding a permanent home, potentially damaging development, as well as causing distress.
The Government has now made major reforms, including:
The introduction of the new Family Court in England and Wales with a simpler single system and a network of single application points making it easier for the public to navigate.
The introduction a 26 week time limit for care proceedings to further reduce the excessive delays in these cases and give greater certainty to the children involved.
Compulsory family mediation information meetings so separating couples must consider alternatives to the harmful and stressful court battles when resolving financial matters and arrangements for children.
Establishing the Family Justice Board, with Local Family Justice Boards to ensure better cross-system working to reduce delays across the system.
Chair of the Family Justice Board, David Norgrove said:
I’m really pleased to have the chance to continue to work with everyone in the family justice system. Everyone has played their part in the progress that has been made already.
With continued focus and collaborative working I’m confident we can embed the new ways of working and make further improvements in both public and private law.