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.
Ann Buchanan has researched and published extensively on children's emotional well-being. Joan Hunt's focus has been on family law issues. She has undertaken frequent 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 has worked on a number of different projects with Dr Buchanan over the last two years.
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.