COMMUNICATIONS NEWS: Children's groups change tack to lobby for law amendments

SIMON ELLERY

Children's rights charities are poised to thrash out a new campaign strategy as fears grow that the House of Lords will reject amendments to new child rules.

The NSPCC and Women's Aid are due to go back to the drawing board if the House of Lords rejects two amendments to the Children Act (1989).

A decision was originally expected on 16 October.

The charities have been lobbying for measures to be included preventing abusive parents having unsupervised contact with children. They are also pushing for independent representation for children.

They have said that in its present form the Act fails children as family courts continue to grant contact orders in situations where a child is in potential danger from a parent or step-parent.

The two charities are expected to thrash out a new plan which could include joining an existing coalition of eight charities, including Barnardo's and NCH to influence next year's Domestic Violence Bill.

As Third Sector went to press the House of Lords had not yet reached a decision on the amendments.

Meanwhile, domestic violence charity Women's Aid is targeting mothers in a campaign launched last week to help them understand how to protect children from domestic violence. It has launched a leaflet called Domestic Violence - the effects on children.

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