child protection

CAFCASS Assessments: Parental Alienation

As part of their Child Impact Assessment Framework (CIAF), CAFCASS have guidance on how to assess families and how they work with children where there is parental alienation.

The links in this blog will show you exactly what the Family Court Adviser (FCA) will use to assess or analyse your family and you can see exactly what CAFCASS thinks is useful.  FCAs are expected to follow these processes although they do have discretion in how they conduct their assessments.

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CAFCASS Assessments: The Child Impact Assessment Framework (CIAF)

The Child Impact Assessment Framework (CIAF) sets out how CAFCASS think children experience parental separation, how the child’s reaction can be understood and what should be done. The framework consists of four guides which Cafcass practitioners can use to assess different types of problem, known as ‘case factors’.

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CAFCASS interventions/assessments: The Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Programme (DAPP)

If you’re being assessed by CAFCASS, we’d love to hear what it’s like for you.
The DAPP is run for CAFCASS by independent providers (see the Directory of Providers).  It aims to help people who have been abusive towards their partners or ex-partners to change their behaviour and develop respectful, non-abusive relationships. CAFCASS says that a DAPP can make an important difference to the lives of those involved, including the children but it can be challenging.  The court’s decisions about contact will be based on the progress made in the programme.

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Parental Alienation: Coping With A Manipulative Ex

Parents who are in conflict with their exes over the arrangements for their children often find that they have been drawn into a repeated pattern of damaging emotional reactions and behaviour.  Their ex is able to manipulate them, deliberately provoking them and knowing what will cause a reaction. To prevent this you must distance yourself from the adult but not from the child.  Distancing yourself means having no conversation and no meetings. If that is impossible without help here is an adapted version of the 12 steps which could be a guide to achieving the necessary balance

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CAFCASS Part 3: The Section 7 (S7) report

The CAFCASS website explains how they consider these cases and how they deal specifically with allegations of domestic abuse, high conflict cases, parental alienation, substance abuse and mental illness. 
The CAFCASS worker preparing the report will decide what enquiries to make based on what the court has asked them to look into. This may include talking to children (depending on their age and understanding) about their wishes and feelings and what they would like to happen.

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child writing in a book

What should I expect in a CAFCASS interview? (CAFCASS Assessment Part 2)

You will gain a lot by understanding what’s to be covered in a CAFCASS interview and to have had time to think about how you’ll reply. So prepare well. Read their interview plan to see what CAFCASS cover in their interview, understand the principles by which they work and read my previous blogs with more CAFCASS information. 

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Why does the family court make stupid decisions about parental alienation?

Parental alienation syndrome is a dangerous pattern of behaviour in which a child becomes hostile to one parent because of the behaviour of the other parent. It can progress to the point where the child will not see that parent and rejects them entirely. The loss of a parent in this way is inevitably severely damaging and harmful to a child. In parental alienation, one of the parents is emotionally abusing the child with the aim of hurting the other parent. Yet they are rarely treated as child abuse cases. Consequently they’re not given the same input and attention and, without good evidence to prove what is happening, decisions get made on the basis of prejudices. This is inexplicable.

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