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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

Featured
Externally reviewed
Resource

Newborn babies | 2021

Newborn babies in urgent care proceedings in England and Wales

This summary highlights the main findings of Born into Care: Newborn Babies in Urgent Care Proceedings in England and Wales—a report commissioned by the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory and undertaken by the Family Justice Data Partnership, which is a collaboration between the University of Lancaster and the University of…

Resource type

Report
Summary

Region

England
Wales

Methodology

National administrative data
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Featured
Externally reviewed
Resource

Newborn babies | 2021

Recurrent care proceedings: five key areas for reflection from the research

All professionals involved in the family justice system have long been aware that some parents will experience more than one set of care proceedings. Some parents return to court on many occasions and lose multiple children to public or kinship care, or to adoption. This cycle of returning to…

Resource type

Spotlight

Region

England
Wales

Methodology

Evidence review
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Resource

Supervision orders | 2021

Supervision orders in care proceedings: survey findings

Supervision orders are one of the options available to courts hearing care proceedings if they are satisfied that the grounds for a care or supervision order exist (s.31 Children Act 1989). A supervision order places a child under the supervision of the local authority. While an order is in…

Resource type

Report

Region

England
Wales

Methodology

Consultation
Qualitative
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Externally reviewed
Resource

Newborn babies | 2021

Born into care: One thousand mothers in care proceedings in Wales, A focus on maternal mental health

The Family Justice Data Partnership’s initial report on infants and newborn babies subject to care proceedings under Section 31 (s.31) of the Children Act 1989 revealed the scale and rising number of babies subject to care proceedings in Wales, notably in the first year of life (Alrouh et al. 2019).

Resource type

Report
Summary

Region

Wales

Methodology

National administrative data
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Externally reviewed
Resource

Private law | 2021

Uncovering private family law: Who’s coming to court in England?

This summary highlights the main findings of the second report in the Uncovering Private Family Law series. The research was carried out by the Family Justice Data Partnership—a collaboration between the University of Lancaster and the University of Swansea. Disputes between parents over child arrangements following family separation make up…

Resource type

Report
Summary

Region

England

Methodology

National administrative data
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Resource

COVID-19 | 2020

Child protection conference practice during COVID-19: Reflections and experiences (rapid consultation September–October 2020)

Child protection conferences are a key stage of the child protection system in England and Wales, where professionals come together to identify and address serious concerns about child abuse and neglect that have led them to believe a child is suffering, or is likely to suffer, significant harm. All…

Resource type

Report
Summary

Region

England
Wales

Methodology

Consultation
Qualitative
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Resource

Child protection mediation | 2020

The impact of child protection mediation in public law proceedings on outcomes for children and families

This summary highlights the main findings of a rapid evidence review undertaken by Emma Retter (Research Analyst, SafeLives), Catrin Wallace (Research Assistant, Children’s Social Care Research and Development Centre (CASCADE), Cardiff University) and Judith Masson (Professor of Socio-Legal Studies, Bristol University). There has been some interest in piloting child protection…

Resource type

Report
Summary

Region

International

Methodology

Evidence review
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Project

COVID-19 | Remote hearings | 2020 – 2020

Remote hearings in the family justice system

Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the introduction of social distancing measures, the family courts in England and Wales have rapidly adapted to using telephone and video hearings. In light of this significant change, the President of the Family Division asked the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory to…

Type

Project
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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.

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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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