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Overview of current research evidence for family justice professionals published

Evidence paper produced in response to the Family Justice Review recommendation

The Department for Education has published an overview of current research evidence for family justice professionals concerning child development and the impact of maltreatment.

Decision-making within a child's timeframe has been commissioned in response to the Family Justice Review recommendation for consistent training and development for family justice professionals, including a greater emphasis on child development.

The evidence paper has been written by Rebecca Brown and Harriet Ward of the Childhood Wellbeing Research Centre. The Centre is an independent research centre in partnership between the Thomas Coram Research Unit and other centres at the Institute of Education, the Centre for Child and Family Research at Loughborough University and the Personal Social Services Research Unit at the University of Kent.

The paper aims to bring together key research evidence to facilitate understanding among professionals working in the family justice system in areas relating to: neuroscience perspectives on children's cognitive, social and emotional development; the implications of maltreatment on childhood and adulthood wellbeing; evidence concerning the outcomes of interventions by the courts and children's social care; and timeframes for intervening and why they are out of kilter with those for children.

This evidence paper is intended to assist decision-making by family justice professionals and facilitate a greater understanding of individual children's needs and appropriate timeframes.

The contents include:

The paper can be downloaded here.