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Nuffield Foundation sets out plans to establish a Family Justice Observatory

12-month development phase will begin in March

The Nuffield Foundation has today set out its plans to establish a Family Justice Observatory that will support the best possible decisions for children by improving the use of data and research evidence in the family justice system in England and Wales.

A 12-month development phase will begin in March this year, delivered by a team appointed by the Foundation. The development phase will build the infrastructure and operating model for the Observatory, followed by a 4-5 year pilot delivery phase, to begin in spring 2019.

These plans are set out in detail in the report, The Nuffield Family Justice Observatory for England and Wales: Making it Happen, which demonstrates how the Observatory's development has been informed by the findings from a scoping study commissioned to establish its purpose, functions and delivery options. The scoping study was led by Professor Karen Broadhurst at Lancaster University and included extensive consultation with stakeholders within the family justice system.

The Observatory will address the need – identified by the Family Justice Review in 2011 – to make better use of research findings and administrative data in family justice decision-making. The Nuffield Foundation, as one of the principal funders of family justice research, has been keen to take a lead on this, first proposing a Family Justice Observatory in 2014. The Foundation has identified a fund of up to £5 million initially that will be available for the development and pilot delivery phases of the Observatory.

For the report, click here.