What is our motivation to undertake this kind of work?

Early intervention – is a requirement.  Why wait for more damage to be done? 

Our motivation is the belief that children in families need to be safe. We believe that most of the natural parents involved in these processses can learn new ways of behaving with their intimate partner and also with their children. Most natural families are the safest place for children, and often if the parents are unable to cope, for whatever reasons, Grandparents or aunts and uncles will step in. The strong bonds between parents and children most usually mean that children are looked after in a completely different way to “cared for” children.

None of us is surprised at the intense grief experienced by parents who lose a child in a fatal accident or a kidnapping or murder.

The reports that we get about this are from surviving parents. Dads or Mums who often see themselves as being blocked from having contact with their child(ren) by the other parent, by the court, often advised by Cafcass. They are thus exposed to this grief and not unnaturally express the associated behaviours. Mums and Dads who get separated from their children by the courts, implementing Social Services’ advice also experience this intense grief. Of course they fight, often together, against their “common enemy”. Theirs is very often a “living grief”; it is unending.  When children get removed from families in most cases the children, too, also experience this enormous grief and a terrific disruption in their lives. Children often fairly quickly get on with “living”. But do they ever recover from it? Courts will very often require a risk assessment on the parents – has that same risk assessment been carried out on the foster parents or the adoptive parents?

When couples separate very many manage to help their children remain in contact with the absent parent. But some couples become engaged in very bitter battles, which become adversarial in a court system, priming both sides to “fight”. This bitterness has all kinds of negative impact on many of the children thus involved.

Here are some of the potential consequences:

Why family matters: a comprehensive analysis of the consequences of family breakdown.
March 2019. Centre for Social Justice
…… Family breakdown is conservatively estimated to cost the government £51 billion per year
• on average 84% of children under 15 are still living with both their parents, while in Finland over 95% of children under 15 are still living with both their parents in the UK only around two thirds of all our children are in intact families by the age of 15 meaning Britain is fast becoming a world leader in family breakdown.
Executive summary
Those who experience family breakdown when aged 18 or younger are:

Over twice as likely to experience homelessness, 2.3 times
Twice as likely to be in trouble with the police or spend time in prison, 2 times
Almost twice as likely to experience educational underachievement, 1.9 times
Almost twice as likely to experience not being with the other parent of their children, 1.9 times
Approaching twice as likely to experience alcoholism, 1.8 times
Approaching twice as likely to experience teen pregnancy, 1.7 times
Approaching twice as likely to experience mental health issues, 1.7 times
More likely to experience debt, 1.6 times
More likely to experience being on benefits, 1.4 times