Professor Kim Holt Co-authors COVID-19 Related Paper in the Journal of Family Law

Trinity Child Care barrister and Professor of Family Law, Kim Holt, has co-authored a paper to be published in the July edition of the Journal of Family Law.

The paper is entitled: Holt, K and Kelly, N (2020) The Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020: Regulations introduced during a global pandemic that will have implications for the most vulnerable children, Journal of Family Law. 

Publication of the paper has been fast tracked due to the pandemic and the speed with which the new regulations were ushered in. The Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 came into effect on 24th April 2020 and are not due to expire until 25th September 2020.

The paper examines the significant impact of the Regulations  on children who are in Local Authority care, and who are amongst the most vulnerable children; often experiencing a range of complex vulnerabilities, as a consequence of their early childhood experiences and separation from their birth family.

The paper examines whether the changes are disproportionate to the measures required to deal with the issue of contact with children remotely during a global pandemic.

Children who are in the care of the Local Authority, living away from birth family, and not attending school, are likely to experience increased levels of stress and isolation which is likely to have an impact upon their mental and physical wellbeing. It is during these times that children should be afforded a greater level of protection, and indeed from the authors’ contact with several local authorities in the North East of England, there is evidence of innovative practice taking place despite the challenges faced on the front line of children’s social care.

As a Professor of Family Law at Northumbria University, in Chambers Kim practises exclusively in the field of family law proceedings. She has developed a high-profile practice specialising in both Public Law and Private Law Proceedings. Kim has been involved in Serious Case Reviews as a chair, author and committee member for 32 years. Kim previously practised as a social worker and Children's Guardian for over 20 years in the North West of England.

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