Understanding why a child does not want to see a parent in the context of private family law proceedings

10/9/2024 15:30 - 16:30

This session will explore the challenges social workers face in assessing a child’s best interests when they are reluctant or are refusing to see a parent. This can occur in the context of polarised accounts of domestic abuse and alienating behaviour. It will include reference to research and case law. A practical framework for supporting social workers making assessments in these circumstances will be shared. The focus of the session is supporting social workers to understand the child’s unique characteristics and needs and the impact on the child of harmful parental behaviour.

Attend this session to:

• Explore the full range of reasons why a child does not want to spend time with a parent following separation and how to assess this in the context of conflicting parental views
• Gain insight into how children are harmed in the context of parental separation when parents cannot agree arrangements
• Consider the options for improving outcomes for children in these circumstances.

Sarah Parsons, principal social worker and deputy director of improvement at Cafcass, Cafcass