Coram Children’s Legal Centre has provided legal advice and representation to children and families for over 35 years.
As well as working under legal aid contracts, we have responded to a challenging environment with innovative grant-funded legal advice work and a pioneering project to realise children’s rights to citizenship.
Through advocacy and litigation we have successfully secured changes to laws and policies in order to protect the rights of children and young people.
Recent examples of CCLC’s impact include:
- The Child Law Advice Service provided legal information and guidance to 17,379 telephone and email enquirers on the areas of family, education, and child law and there were over 2.4 million downloads of information from its dedicated website.
- The Migrant Children’s Project (MCP) helped 998 cases through its advice line and 326 young people or families through its outreach service. 150,000 unique users accessed MCP guidance on our website
- In 2019, we trained 926 individuals nationwide on migrant children’s rights; 146 were young people who received workshops on their rights. Over 95% of training-participants reported that the course will help them to improve their practice and said that they will apply the learning to their job
- We published ‘Rights without Remedies: legal aid and access to justice for children’ in 2018 and used this as the basis for ongoing engagement with the Ministry of Justice, whilst also providing evidence from our Migrant Children’s Project to strategic litigation. In 2019, the government reintroduced legal aid for the immigration cases of separated children, expanded the scope of legal aid to include special guardianship orders in private family law, committed to face-to-face advice for education cases and pledged to amend the Exceptional Case Funding scheme.
- Through lobbying on the EU Withdrawal Bill, we helped secure the government’s ongoing commitment to give due consideration to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) when making policy and legislation. We worked with the Department for Education (DfE) to design a comprehensive children’s rights training package for civil servants, launched in November 2018.
- Through our on-going engagement with the Home Office, using evidence from our frontline advice work, we ensured that the needs of children, specifically children in care, were reflected in the development and implementation of the EU Settlement Scheme. We secured cross-party support for calls for additional protections for children in care, including the introduction of a declaratory scheme and clearer guidance for local authorities.
- Last year, Coram International worked in 88 countries across the globe with 43 partners to ensure that children’s rights are respected, protected and fulfilled. Coram International’s Final Evaluation of the Justice for Every Child Project was cited by UNICEF as one of the best evaluations of the year.
“Thanking you again for all your help, without your tenacity and persistence in seeing this case through, we would not have seen this outcome – your efforts are much appreciated by all our family.”
(feedback on one of CCLC’s lawyers in the Legal Practice Unit)
Recent awards include:
- Sophie Freeman, solicitor and manager of the immigration and asylum law team in CCLC’s Legal Practice Unit, won Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year in the social welfare category in 2018.
- Coram Children’s Legal Centre, together with partners DLA Piper and Allen and Overy, won a Law Works Award and a Legal Week Award for its Pro Bono Legal Service.
- Noel Arnold, former Director of Legal Practice at Coram Children’s Legal Centre became inaugural winner of the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards in the children’s rights category in 2015.