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Children’s Legal Centre has joined children’s charity Coram

CLC will continue in partnership with University of Essex

The Children's Legal Centre and children's charity Coram have amalgamated as from 1 September. The merger is intended to unite Coram's social-work led expertise and extensive reach to schools with the legal experience of the Children's Legal Centre in promoting the rights of children throughout the UK and beyond.

Founded in 1739 as the first children's charity, Coram today provides practical support to more than 15,000 children, young people and families each year, and reaches a further 800,000 school children through educational programmes.

The Children's Legal Centre, which this year celebrates its 30th anniversary, provides free legal information, advice and representation to children, young people, families, their carers and professionals, as well as consultancy on child law and children's rights. The national charity is staffed by lawyers and professionals who specialise in child, family and education law. They work to ensure that children's interests are represented at every level of the legal process and in the production of legislation both here in the UK and globally through the charity's international projects.

Dr Carol Homden, Coram's Chief Executive, said:

"We are delighted to be welcoming the CLC to the Coram group so that we can combine our expertise to extend children's access to justice.

"We will draw on Coram's pioneering work in concurrent planning and family assessment and the CLC's expertise in educational, family and children's legal advice to advance the cause of children, young people and families in care proceedings.

"We are stronger together than apart, particularly during this time of economic uncertainty and burgeoning contract culture, and look forward to extending our impact from joint learning and strengths."

Carolyn Hamilton, CLC Director, said:

"We're very pleased to be amalgamating with Coram and our combined strengths, knowledge and know-how will maximise our commitment to improving the lives of children and young people.

"Coram's long history of providing practical support to large numbers of children coupled with the CLC's rights-based approach makes us both a stronger force in the UK and will help to extend our international reach – by working together we can really make a difference now and in the future."

The CLC has 38 staff working across two sites, in central London and Colchester, Essex. No job losses are anticipated as a result of the amalgamation.

Coram's Bloomsbury head office will become home to some of the CLC London team, with its Essex legal practice and Child Law Advice Line continuing at its existing Colchester base in partnership with the University of Essex.