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Our work

Our research identifies and fills gaps in our understanding of the family justice system, to support better outcomes for children and families.

Explore our research

Resource

Newborn babies | 2024

Babies in care proceedings: What do we know about parents with learning disabilities or difficulties?

This report explores the prevalence, circumstances and experiences of parents with learning disabilities or difficulties involved in care proceedings concerning their babies. It sets out key findings from an examination of court bundles, children’s social care records and interviews with parents, lawyers and social care professionals in England.

Resource type

Report

Region

England

Methodology

Case file analysis
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Young people | 2024

What are the routes into care for young people in Wales?

This briefing highlights some of the key findings from a recent study from the Family Justice Data Partnership which investigates the routes into care for young people in Wales.

Resource type

Briefing

Region

Wales
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Private law | 2024

Uncovering private family law: how often do we hear the voice of the child? 

This report explores the extent to which children across England and Wales participate (through the presence of court-ordered reports) and how the level of participation varies by child and case characteristics.

Resource type

Report

Region

England
Wales

Methodology

National administrative data
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Newborn babies | 2023

Understanding care pathways and placement stability for babies in Wales

This is the summary of a full report that provides new evidence about entry routes to care, pathways through care, and placement outcomes for the very youngest children in the care system in Wales.

Resource type

Summary

Region

Wales
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Young people | 2023

Principles of Care for Children with Complex Needs

Changes to ways of working, and to the type and availability of services and provision, is necessary to better meet the needs of children with complex needs and circumstances, including those subject to deprivation of liberty orders.
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Young people | 2023

Children subject to deprivation of liberty orders

Children subject to deprivation of liberty (DoL) orders are among the most vulnerable children in England and Wales and living with severe restrictions on their day-to-day freedoms. Over the last 12 months we have been working with the national DoL court during its 12-month pilot phase (July 2022 to June 2023) to understand the number of children and their circumstances. This briefing paper summarises our key findings to date and outlines five principles of care.
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Private law | 2023

What do we know about adults in private law proceedings? Spotlight series

This Spotlight Series paper highlights what we know about adults in private law proceedings, focusing on the evidence about different vulnerabilities…

Resource type

Spotlight
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Resource

Young people | 2023

National deprivation of liberty court: Latest data trends – June 2023

In July 2022 the President of the Family Division launched the national deprivation of liberty court. Based at the Royal Courts of Justice, it deals with all new applications seeking authorisation to deprive children of their liberty under the inherent jurisdiction and will run for a 12-month pilot phase…

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Nuffield FJO in development

As part of our development we examined the research needs of the family justice system.

Our research methods

An overview of the different methods we use in our research.

Infographic Resource

What do we know about children in the family justice system?

Our infographic pulls together what we know, and what we don’t know, about children’s journeys through the family justice system from national data.

Child plays football barefoot

About the Observatory

We are an independent body, funded by the Nuffield Foundation.

The Nuffield Family Justice Observatory exists to find and fill the gaps in our understanding of the family justice system, highlight the areas where change will have the biggest impact, and foster collaboration to make that change happen.

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