Use of Research Evidence in the Family Justice System

20 August 2015

Court decision-making within the Family Justice System can have a profound influence on the lives of families and children. However, there is relatively limited research capacity to address the fundamental questions in family justice.

The Family Justice Review in 2011 highlighted a need for:

  • improved dissemination of up-to-date research and analysis on the needs, views and development of children;
  • a system-wide approach to research and evaluation; and
  • improved mechanisms for synthesising and vetting the quality of research in ways that are accessible and useful to practitioners, be they judges, legal representatives, social workers, Cafcass officers, or members of local family justice boards.

In this light, we intend to commission a scoping project to map the case and requirements for a solution that might improve the vetting, synthesis, dissemination and translation into practice of research evidence and data relevant to family justice issues.

Following a roundtable discussion in 2014, we are hosting an event on Wednesday 14 October (4.30-7.30pm, London) to stimulate further discussion amongst stakeholders to identify the priority areas that need to be addressed when seeking to improve the use of research evidence in the family justice system. These views will then inform the specification for a scoping exercise to ensure that any solutions proposed effectively meet various stakeholder needs.

This event has limited capacity and is by invitation only, however if you are interested in bidding for the scoping exercise then please contact Alison Rees ( to request a place. 

Please note this will not be your last or only opportunity to express interest in bidding, since formal expressions of interest will be sought after the event.