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Coercive behaviour is defined as “an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim. Coercive control involves repeated, ongoing, intentional tactics which are used to limit the liberty of the victim.
If your case involves ‘harmful conflict’, the links in this blog show you exactly how CAFCASS will assess you and your family relationships. FCAs are expected to follow these processes although they do have discretion in how they conduct their assessments.
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.
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’.
CAFCASS describe Child Contact Interventions (CCIs) as short-term interventions of supervised contact. They are designed to help adults and children establish safe and beneficial contact when it is difficult to do on their own. CAFCASS consider CCIs should be a ‘learning opportunity’ for parents with input from the Separated Parents Information Programme (SPIP).
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.
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
When you represent yourself in a contested family case, in other words without a lawyer, you are called a ‘litigant in person’ (LIP). It’s an extremely daunting experience and the best way to cope is to understand the process, read up about the issues, get good advice and guidance and be organised so as to make sure you do what’s necessary. For the professionals involved it’s their jobs. For you it’s your life and much more stressful. The better prepared you are the less likely you are to be overwhelmed.