Less supportive post by John Hemmings (August 6th) - I have posted a comment - join in do! I am puzzled by his reference to parents being refused legal aid. Perhaps he knows something we don't? I am also disappointed by his reference to lawyers rolling over in the face of care proceedings. I am sure some do a very bad job but I think most of us give it a good go. It is true that one doesn't win very often at a final hearing if you are representing a parent. In my experience if you are going to win in the sense of children returned home to parents you will usually have done so before the final hearing which is then compromised with a supervision order or the LA withdrawing. I do not agree that most care orders are made without justification but I do agree that some are made without sufficient justification and because one judge takes a view that another one would not. I would like to see more involvement of the higher courts in the general administration further down the line - the occasional Court of Appeal Judge in the magistrates court? Some sort of random review / spot checking of judgments? A point for the Family Justice Review perhaps?
I would also like to see this quote from Hedley J inscribed somewhere in every court room:
Re L (Care: Threshold Criteria)  1 FLR 2050:
“…society must be willing to tolerate very diverse standards of parenting, including the eccentric, the barely adequate and the inconsistent. It follows too that children will inevitably have both very different experiences of parenting and very unequal consequences flowing from it. It means that some children will experience disadvantage and harm, whilst others flourish in atmospheres of loving security and emotional stability. These are the consequences of our fallible humanity and it is not the provenance of the State to spare children all the consequences of defective parenting. In any event it could simply not be done.”