The Children and Their Families Have Rights

Natasha Phillips (Editor In Chief of the Researching Reform) and Simon Haworth (Lecturer/Social Work academic at the University of Birmingham) have recently published a guide about the rights of children and families as concerns children’s social care.

The lead for the Commission is Michele Simmons, a mother who lost her son to adoption, but was later reunited. She now supports and helps other families who have been through, or are going through, public family law proceedings. A researcher focusing on adoptions in the UK, she specialises in the tracking of illegal adoptions and falsified documents relating to the phenomenon. Michele also pioneered Section 20 consent forms for parents and children.

Further details from Natasha Phillips stated below:

Human rights underpin every aspect of children’s social care and are protected by laws which have been passed in England and Wales.

The Children and Families Truth Commission (CFTC) is the first ever parent-led and human rights focused investigation of child protection in the UK. It evaluates children’s social care through the eyes of children and their families, with a focus on how well public bodies are supporting their human rights.

As part of its work, the Commission publishes guides for families. Several of the current guides are increasingly being used by social workers and local authorities, who tell us they find the information beneficial to their practice.

One such guide is The Children and Their Families Have Rights booklet, which provides children and families with a breakdown of their legal rights during child protection inquiries in England and Wales. The guide is free to access and read.

Local authorities who want to roll out the guide in their area, or use in-house, are kindly requested to contact the Commission at