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 14,700 telephone enquirers on the areas of family, education, and community care law and there were 144,400 downloads of information from its new dedicated website.
- The Migrant Children’s Project dealt with 1,302 queries in 2016. It produced 29 updated fact sheets and the fully updated 5th edition of ‘Seeking Support, a guide to the rights of separated children’. Our face-to-face immigration outreach services benefited 1308 people through 440 individual appointments.
- In 2016, we trained 994 individuals nationwide on migrant children’s rights; 204 were young people who received workshops on their rights. 98% of training-participants reported that the course will help them to improve their practice. 100% said that they will apply the learning to their job.
- We developed a new programme to recruit, train and employ young people with experience of the immigration system in our training delivery and now have nine Youth Rights Trainers working with us.
- Key policy successes include amended clauses in the Immigration Act 2016 regarding care-leavers and the best interests of children; the government’s abandonment of the ‘exemption’ clauses (which would haved allowed exemptions from statutory duties in children’s social care in the Children and Social Work Bill); and the government’s decision to grant refugee status (rather than humanitarian protection) to Syrians, which will allow young Syrians to access higher education.
- Last year, Coram International worked in 27 counties around the globe and produced 20 reports over the last year to ensure that children’s rights are respected, protected and fulfilled.
“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:
- 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, 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.
- 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.