What is the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory?
The Nuffield Family Justice Observatory aims to support the best possible decisions for children by improving the use of data and research evidence in the family justice system in England and Wales. The Observatory is being established by the Nuffield Foundation and is currently in its development phase. It will cover public and private law issues and be relevant to a range of professionals working in or at the margins of the family courts.
The Observatory will focus on meeting the needs of practitioners who make important decisions in the lives of children and families by:
- Working with them to identify priority issues where evidence may help guide practice
- Providing reliable summaries of what is, and is not, known from research or data
- Combining knowledge from research with insights from policy, practice and user experience
- Working with system professionals to develop, update and test guidance based on that knowledge
- Improving the use of and disseminating analyses of national data.
A key activity within the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory will be the creation of a Data Platform and Analytics Service (DPAS) that will provide improved access to analyses of Cafcass and Cafcass Cymru data, and link them with other relevant datasets. Through analysis of core family justice datasets, a better understanding will be gained of the pathways of children and families through services, and the short and medium term outcomes beyond family court involvement.