Centre for Child and Family Justice Research – Spring term round-up

Source: Centre for Child and Family Justice Research Date: 22/03/2022

It’s been another busy term at the Centre for Child and Family Justice Research! 

Some highlights / updates

  • In January, Dr Katie Hunter, research associate in the Law School, started her ESRC-funded ADR UK (Administrative Data Research UK) fellowship, looking at Care Experience, Ethnicity and Criminal Justice Involvement.  More details available here.
  • In February, Professor Hedy Cleaver and Wendy Rose OBE gave an emotive seminar on Baby Loss – the Melancholy Void.  Slides and a recording of their presentation can be found here.
  • Professor Karen Broadhurst and Claire Mason, in collaboration with Professor Harriet Ward at the Rees Centre, University of Oxford, published the findings from the Nuffield funded research focussing on practices surrounding separation at birth. The full report is available here. The new draft guidelines to help improve practice when the state acts to safeguard a baby at birth developed from the research were also published. The draft guidelines (available here) are being tested for feasibility in sites across England and Wales.
  • A new article by a research team led by Dr Claire Fitzpatrick (CFJ leadership team) has been published in Criminology & Criminal Justice.  The research, from the project Disrupting the routes between care and custody discusses how women in prison who have experienced the care system as child report using self-harm as a way to communicate, alleviate and end the pain in their lives. The article is available here.
  • A new article by Professor Karen Broadhurst and Claire Mason, with Professor Harriet Ward (Rees Centre, University Oxford) was published in the International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family.  Urgent Care Proceedings for Newborn Babies in England and Wales – Time for a Fundamental Review is available, open access here.
  • A new article by members of the Family Justice Data Partnership team – a collaboration between Lancaster and Swansea University, funded by the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory – has been published in BJPsyc Open. Anxiety and depression among children and young people involved in family justice court proceedings: longitudinal national data linkage study is available here.
  • A special issue of the Prison Service Journal published this month (available here) focuses specifically on care-experience and the criminal justice system. It features two open access articles by CFJ researchers. Out of Place’: The Criminalisation of Black and Minority Ethnic Looked After Children in England and Wales by Dr Katie Hunter and Challenging Perceptions of Care-Experienced Girls and Women by Dr Claire Fitzpatrick are available here.

Looking ahead

  • A new report, co-authored by Professor Judith Harwin and Lily Golding, is being published on 31st March by the Department for Education on Supporting Families after Care Proceedings: supervision orders and beyond – parental perspectives on care proceedings, supervision orders and care orders at home. The project was commissioned to inform the work of the Public Law Working Group sub-group on supervision orders. More details are available here.  
  • Dr Linda Cusworth, private law lead with the Family Justice Data Partnership, has been invited to speak at the Family Justice Council conference on 6th April.  Her presentation will consider the characteristics and vulnerabilities of adults involved in private law children applications.

Forthcoming events

  • Wednesday 4th May, 10-11.30am – To coincide with the report launch, this online event will share key insights from the Nuffield-Foundation funded project on Disrupting the Routes between Care and Custody for Girls and Women. The project, funded by the Nuffield Foundation and led by Dr Claire Fitzpatrick (Lancaster University) in partnership with Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Bristol, has explored the neglected issue of girls and women who move between the care and criminal justice systems. Registration via Eventbrite now open.
  • Wednesday 11th May, 4-5.30pm – the next speaker in the CFJ Distinguished Speaker series will be Professor Barry Goldson, University of Liverpool who will speak about Critical reflections on justice for children.  This is an in-person event held at Lancaster University. By reflecting on a programme of national and international (comparative) research – extending over three decades – this paper will interrogate the very concept of ‘justice for children’ and subject it to critical analysis. Registration via Eventbrite now open.
  • The next meeting of the Welsh Children’s Social Care and Family Justice Data User Group will be held on Thursday 16th June, 1-2.30pm. This will include presentations from Cecilia Macintyre, Statistician, Scottish Government on Looked after children in Scotland – the journey from administrative data to research ready and from Bachar Alrouh and Claire Hargreaves from CFJ on Ethnic diversity in the family justice system – what can Cafcass data tell us? Full details and booking to follow.

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