At Coram Children’s Legal Centre, we specialise in law and policy affecting children and young people. Our services support people across the UK, while our consultancy supports children’s rights internationally. We use evidence from our frontline work alongside our specialist technical knowledge to ensure children’s rights are embedded in law, policy and practice.
We run a range of services that together support some of society’s most vulnerable children and young people, including families of children with special educational needs and disabilities, migrant groups and communities where there is significant hardship. For example, 40% of our Child Law Advice Service (CLAS) clients come from ‘hard-to-reach’ groups, including people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, adults and children with disabilities, and single fathers.
Our Child Law Advice Service provides free legal information and advice on family and education law. The website is packed with free information and guides. We also provide advice via email and telephone if people need more dedicated and/or personalised support. In 2021/2022, we provided legal advice via email and telephone to 15,609 clients.
Our Migrant Children’s Project provides one-to-one legal advice on issues affecting children subject to immigration control. We do this through email, an outreach programme and a range of free online resources and information.
We also provide training to practitioners working with young refugees and migrants. Our research and policy advocacy, combining our specialist knowledge of domestic and international law with evidence from our frontline work, enables us to ensure children’s rights are embedded in law and in practice.
Our Legal Practice Unit offers specialist casework and representation in family, education, immigration and asylum, and community care law. The unit has a child-centred approach, is LEXCEL accredited and holds legal aid contracts in the four areas of law mentioned above. LEXCEL is a legal practice quality mark for client care, compliance and practice management.
- We obtain refugee status, leave to remain and citizenship for migrant children and young people
- We ensure children in care and care leavers receive the full range of local authority support they are entitled to
- We secure appropriate educational provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities
- We ensure children’s best interests are served and their voices are heard in family law proceedings
Our Coram International team of lawyers and researchers works to protect and promote the rights of children through social and legal research, assessments and evaluations training and capacity building, and providing support for policy and legislation design.
Independent Review Mechanism (IRM)
Since 2015, we have managed the Independent Review Mechanism (IRM), providing independent review panels for anyone needing to challenge a decision made by an adoption agency or a fostering service provider. The IRM operates a digital-first service offering virtual panels, which has improved the service’s accessibility.
The IRM received 148 applications in 2021/2022 which was the highest number on record since it was established in the early 2000’s.
Our expert team
Qaisar Sheikh, Head of Education Law at Coram Children’s Legal Centre, was named Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year in the category of public law, at the Legal Aid Practitioner Group’s Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards 2022.
CCLC is staffed by solicitors, trainee solicitors, paralegals, researchers and policy experts who are all passionate about working towards a common goal of improved chances for all vulnerable children.
Coram Children's Legal Centre
Find out more about CCLC’s important work changing the lives of children on their website.Visit the CCLC website