Policy Press

Families in conflict

Perspectives of children and parents on the Family Court Welfare Service

By Ann Buchanan, Joan Hunt, Harriet Bretherton and Victoria Bream


Nov 26, 2001

Page count

128 pages




297 x 210 mm


Policy Press
Families in conflict

As the new Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) takes over responsibility for the work previously undertaken by family court welfare officers, the experiences of the parents and children reported in this study will provide an invaluable service user perspective for the benefit of policy and practice.

For the first time children, as well as parents, who have been subject to a court welfare report under Section 8 of the 1989 Children Act have been asked for their views on the process. Parents and children made suggestions for changing and improving the service.

"This study combines thought-provoking research findings with an account of the raw emotions involved. This produces an incisive and accessible piece of work which raises radical questions about the immediate future of practice and longer term family policy." Child and Family Social Work

"I recomend this book as essential reading for all professionals working within the family justice system." Family Law

Ann Buchanan (1942-2022) researched and published extensively on children's emotional well-being. Joan Hunt's focus has been on family law issues. She has undertaken research for the Department of Health. Harriet Bretherton has many years experience as a Senior Court Welfare Officer and is now manager of CAFCASS in Oxford. Victoria Bream is a graduate in Experimental Psychology and worked on a number of different projects with Dr Buchanan.

Contents: Foreword Anthony Hewson, CAFCASS; Current issues and concerns; Portrait of the families and their disputes; The court proceedings; The parents' experiences; Differing perspectives; Outcomes one year on; Children's voices; The well-being of parents and children; How to make it better - what the children and parents said; Implications for policy and practice.

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