Karen Woodall

Attachment disorders arising from upholding a child’s decision to reject a parent after separation

The Family Courts are often presented with the phenomenon of a child who no longer wishes to see a parent after separation. This phenomenon, which arises after family separation is one which presents serious challenges for the courts. Use of instruments such as ‘wishes and feelings’ reports by CAFCASS and Social Workers, can lead to an over reliance upon what a child says they would like to happen after separation. It is this focus upon the child’s voice, that can lead some practitioners to feel that only by upholding the child’s stated wishes are they acting in the child’s best interests.

This article explores the way in which an over reliance upon the stated wishes and feelings of a child can act, not to uphold their best interests, but to force a terrible burden upon that…

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