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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

Private law | 2021

Uncovering private family law: Adult characteristics and vulnerabilities (Wales)

This report by the Family Justice Data Partnership a collaboration between Lancaster University and Swansea University exposes the heightened socioeconomic and health vulnerabilities of women and men involved in private law proceedings in Wales between 2014/15 and 2019/20. The research team analysed anonymised linked healthcare (GP and hospital admissions) and…

Resource type

Report

Methodology

National administrative data
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Resource

Private law | 2021

Children’s experience of private law proceedings: Six key messages from research

The family court has a role in resolving disputes between separating parents over child arrangements—known as private law. More than twice as many private law applications are started in England and Wales each year than public law applications. Yet little is known about the children and families involved in…

Resource type

Spotlight

Methodology

Evidence review
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Featured
Externally reviewed
Resource

Young people | 2021

The health of older children and young people subject to care proceedings in Wales

This report provides an overview of the health and health service use of older children and young people (aged 10–17) involved in section 31 care proceedings in Wales. It is part of a series of work that aims to help build a better understanding of the reasons why older…

Resource type

Report

Region

Wales

Methodology

National administrative data
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Resource

Young people | 2021

Why are older children in care proceedings? A themed audit in four local authorities

This is the summary of a themed audit involving 73 children (aged 10-17) from 49 families who were the subject of care proceedings issued by four local authorities in England and Wales in 2019/20. It is part of a series of work that aims to help build a better…

Resource type

Report
Summary

Region

England
Wales

Methodology

Case file analysis
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Featured
Resource

Young people | 2021

Why are older children and young people in care proceedings? A case file review

Resource type

Report
Summary

Region

England

Methodology

Case file analysis
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Featured
Externally reviewed
Resource

Young people | 2021

Older children and young people in care proceedings in England and Wales

This summary highlights the main findings of the first in a series of reports about 10 to 17-year-olds in the family justice system in England and Wales. It provides the first national overview of older children and young people in care proceedings using administrative data held by Cafcass and…

Resource type

Report
Summary

Region

England
Wales

Methodology

National administrative data
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Featured
Project

Young people | 2021

A focus on young people

We are bringing together existing and emerging evidence, combined with the insights of young people, professionals and experts by experience, to identify ways to improve support for young people across the family justice system and its intersections with the care and youth justice systems. By bringing a long-term focus to…

Type

Project

Region

England
Wales
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Project

Young people | 2021 – 2021

‘Not about us, without us’: Older children and young people’s experiences of support and services

In recent years there has been growing recognition of the increasing number of older children and young people coming before the family courts, and the complexity and diversity of their experiences. This has raised concerns about the capability of support services in and around the child welfare system to…

Type

Project

Region

England
Wales
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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.

Profile