Children and families

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on children and families. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Standard Notes

28.11.2014Background to the Independent Panel Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse
This brief note provides general background information about the Independent Panel Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse which was established in July 2014 by the Home Secretary, Theresa May.
21.11.2014Constituency Casework: A guide to age related legislation
This note sets out the age restrictions that define a child in a variety of aspects of life including: contracts; debt; housing; benefits; education; employment and medical treatment, with reference to the relevant legislation in each case.
06.11.2014Youth services: support under the Coalition Government
This note provides a brief overview of youth services policy under the Coalition Government. It includes information on funding for youth services.
29.10.2014Inter-racial adoption
This note provides information on the current law and policy on inter-racial adoption.
27.10.2014Child arrangements orders: residence and contact related matters for parents, grandparents and others after separation
Child arrangements orders were introduced by the Children and Families Act 2014 on 22 April 2014 to replace the previous framework of contact and residence orders. Child arrangement orders are court orders regulating the living and contact arrangements in relation to a child following parental separation.

Research Papers

06.11.2014Childcare Payments Bill
This is a report of the House of Commons Committee Stage of the Childcare Payments Bill. The Bill would introduce a new tax-free childcare scheme to support eligible parents with childcare costs. Under the scheme, the Government would provide 20 per cent support on costs up to 10,000 per year for each child via an online account. The Government would top up any payments made into the account, capped at a maximum Government contribution of 2,000 a year for each child.
31.05.2013Children and Families Bill Committee Stage Report
The Children and Families Bill introduces a wide range of legislation concerning adoption and children in care, aspects of family justice law, special educational needs, the Office of the Children's Commissioner for England, child care, statutory rights to leave and pay for parents and adopters, time off work for ante-natal care, and the right to request flexible working. This paper complements Research Paper 13/11 prepared for the Commons Second Reading.
15.02.2013Children and Families Bill
The Children and Families Bill introduces a wide range of legislation concerning adoption and children in care, aspects of family justice law, special educational needs, the Office of the Children's Commissioner for England, child care, statutory rights to leave and pay for parents and adopters, time off work for ante-natal care, and the right to request flexible working. This paper has been prepared for the Second Reading of the Bill.
25.10.2012Family Justice (Transparency, Accountability and Cost of Living) Bill
The Bill has three parts. Part 1 deals with transparency and accountability in connection with cases concerning children and proceedings in the Court of Protection. Part 2 contains other provisions relating to the administration of justice; and Part 3 deals with the cost of living and measures to achieve lower fuel bills.
05.05.2011Education Bill: Committee Stage Report
This is an account of the House of Commons Committee Stage of the Education Bill. It complements Research Paper 11/14, prepared for the Commons Second Reading debate, which examines the range of matters covered by the Bill. As originally presented, the Bill sought to make provision relating to the National Assembly for Wales' framework powers. However, these clauses were removed from the Bill following the 'yes' vote in the Welsh Devolution Referendum. A Government amendment to clause 13 (reporting restrictions on alleged offences by teachers) was agreed to without a vote. This inserted new schedule 11B into the Education Act 2002, and was introduced to secure compliance with a European Electronic Commerce Directive. Several minor and technical Government amendments were also made to the Bill. The Opposition tabled many amendments, a considerable number of which were pressed to a division, but none was successful.

Select Committee Reports

02.12.2011Memorandum to the Education Select Committee on Post-legislative assessments of the Education and Inspections...
Education Select Committee report [Commons]
26.01.2011Sure start children's centres.
Government response. Education Select Committee report [Commons]
03.11.2010Cafcass's response to increased demand for its services.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
15.03.2010Sure Start children's centres.
Children Schools and Families Select Committee report [Commons]
03.03.2010The Review of Elective Home Education.
Government response. Children Schools and Families Select Committee; Department for Children, Schools and Families report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

That this House congratulates Sands, the stillbirth and neonatal death charity, on the publication of its new report, Preventing Babies' Deaths: what needs to be done; notes that 17 ...
That this House considers Sir Neil McKay's review of children's cardiac services has unreasonably weighted the odds against retaining the excellent children's cardiac centre at Leeds ...
That this House notes that the parents of ill children often need to live in hospital wards with their children; further notes that living expenses such as meals are not paid for by ...
That this House welcomes the joint venture between Wolverhampton University and Walsall Schools to promote the best educational practice that supports the attainment of children from ...
That this House welcomes the Saving Lives Campaign ... Drive Safely Because i-Count launched by the charity Kids Count and other associated bodies; notes that the campaign draws attention ...

Lords Library Notes

03.12.2014Childcare Payments Bill (HL Bill 56 of 2014-15)
This note provides an overview of the Childcare Payments Bill, and its passage through the House of Commons earlier this year, ahead of its second reading in the House of Lords on 9 December 2014.
10.11.2014Impact of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on Children's and Young People's Online and Digital Interactions
On 20 November 2014, the House of Lords is scheduled to debate the following motion: 'that this House takes note of the impact of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on children's and young people's online and digital interactions'
15.08.2014The Impact of Personal Indebtedness in United Kingdom Households, Especially on Children
This Library Note was prepared for a debate in the House of Lords on the impact of personal indebtedness in UK households, especially on children, which was scheduled to take place on 17 July 2014, but was postponed to a future date.
28.06.2013Children and Families Bill (HL Bill 32 of 2013-14)
This Library Note provides information on the Children and Families Bill, which is due for second reading in the House of Lords on 2 July 2013. The Bill covers several areas, including: adoption and children in care; the family justice system; children and young people with special educational needs; the Office of the Children's Commissioner for England; rights to leave and pay for parents; the right to request flexible working; and early years education and child care.
09.06.2011Education Bill (HL Bill 67 of 2010-12)
This Library Note provides information for the second reading of the Education Bill in the House of Lords.
02.02.2011Early Parenting and Preparing a Child for Success in School: Public Reaction
This Library Note summarises the public reaction to an online debate on the BBC Have Your Say website regarding the importance of early parenting.

POST Papers

14.10.2014Preventing Mitochondrial Disease
This note describes new treatments designed to prevent mothers with mitochondrial disease passing their condition on to their children and looks at the issues raised by their potential use in IVF.
23.07.2014Childhood Allergy
A briefing which describes the prevalence of allergic disorders in children and the factors which contribute to the development of allergies in infancy and early childhood. It also summarises new developments in research and treatment and gives an overview of current health policy on allergy services.
18.12.2013Special Educational Needs
This POSTnote summarises the nature and diversity of special eduational needs (SEN) and discusses the support and outcomes for affected children and their families.
16.07.2012Preventing Diabetes
This POSTnote describes the causes of diabetes and the known risk factors, and examines policy options for diabetes prevention.
22.05.2012POSTnote 411 ICT for Disabled People
Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) underpin many aspects of modern living, so for the 10 million disabled people in the UK access to ICT is an important factor in their quality of life. This POSTnote summarises the issues that disabled people face in using ICT and looks at progress towards achieving equivalent access to services for disabled and non-disabled users.
15.03.2012Impacts of Video Games
There is debate surrounding the impact of violent video games on behaviour.


  • Research Papers (RP) - briefings produced by the House of Commons Library on Bills, topical issues and regular statistics
  • Standard Notes (SN) - shorter, topical briefings from the Commons Library
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POST Notes - short briefing notes produced by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - papers compiled by the House of Lords Library on Bills and for debates in the Lords
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses