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New consultation on remote hearings

The Nuffield Family Justice Observatory (Nuffield FJO) is continuing its work to support a system-wide understanding of how family justice practice has been shaped by COVID-19 – how approaches have changed, where this has resulted in positive practice innovation and what challenges and difficulties have emerged.

In March/April we carried out a rapid consultation on remote hearings in the family court and received feedback from over 1000 parents, carers and professionals. The subsequent report included many insights and suggestions for good practice which was welcomed by the President of the Family Division and was widely seen to be helpful and informative.

It is now clear that, while some physical court hearings are taking place, social distancing will continue to apply and many hearings will still take place over video or by phone for many months to come. The system is still adjusting to these changes while facing the challenge of the backlog of cases. As a result, we are carrying out a second, follow-up survey of how the system is working.

The new online survey is live from today, 10th September, and will remain open for three weeks until 30th September.

The survey is now closed.

There is plenty of space within the survey for you to record details, comments and reflections. At the end of the survey there is an option to upload Word or PDF documents if you would like to. If you are unable to access Survey Monkey, you can submit your views via email to

There is a separate section of the survey available for parents. In addition we have commissioned PFAN (Parents, Families and Allies Network) to help us by carrying out interviews and focus groups with parents. If you are a parent, or you work with parents, who would like to take part in a focus group or interview with PFAN,  then please contact Taliah Dryak on Alternatively, message or call 07385830496 or visit