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Rethinking support for separating families: A scoping event to improve the response to parental disputes about child arrangements

By Nuffield Foundation

Project overview

Jointly hosted by the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory and Cafcass in conjunction with the President of the Family Division’s Private Law Working Group, hosted by Mr Justice Cobb, the event invites system leaders to come together to start the work needed to improve the offer for children and families when parents separate, so that we can limit the escalation of problems associated with family breakdown such as domestic abuse and mental health difficulties.

The impact on children and the intergenerational consequences are increasingly well-documented, and various initiatives have sought to address them. But very often any help available is patchy, disjointed and is not tailored to the needs of the children and families concerned. Often difficulties escalate and play out in disputes over child arrangements in the family courts, but the family justice system may not be the best place to resolve any underlying welfare issues, and an adversarial legal process can have the effect of exacerbating the problems.

The recently published review of the Child Arrangements Programme by the Private Law Working Group on behalf of the President of the Family Division proposed the creation of a Support for Separating Families Alliance to take forward the work needed at local and national levels to provide the early help that families need. The proposals are now being refined in light of responses to the consultation.

Please note that due to the constraints of our listed Georgian building, we are sadly unable to provide access or facilities for wheelchair users. If you have mobility needs, please contact us for guidance in advance of the meeting. Please also contact us in advance if you require a hearing loop.

  • Location
  • 28 Bedford Square
  • England
  • WC1B 3JS
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By Nuffield Foundation

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We improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in EducationWelfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

We offer our grant-holders the freedom to frame questions and enable new thinking. Our research must stand up to rigorous academic scrutiny, but we understand that to be successful in effecting change, it also needs to be relevant to people’s experience.