This paper draws on a qualitative evaluation of the CAFCASS Cymru’s Family Dispute Resolution Pilot Programme (FDRP) in North Wales. The FDRP was developed as a child centred intervention aimed at resolving disputes involving children, without recourse to the courts. The evaluation comprised postal questionnaires for parents and qualitative interviews with a sample of parents, children and professionals engaging with the programme. Overall, both professionals and families were very positive about the programme. However, while valuing the FDRP child centred imperative, some parents found it (a) difficult to relinquish their attachment to personal grievances with the other parent and (b) less empowering. Also, while the programme was founded on the principle of agreement, for many of the interviewees issues of enforcement were also important. That is, some professionals argued that an element of compulsion was needed for parents to engage in the FDRP process and comply with agreed outcomes. Likewise, some parents said they wanted continued CAFCASS Cymru input to ensure that the agreed arrangements were observed. In conclusion, while both professionals and parents were highly supportive of the programme, they highlighted issues which have resource implications for an already resource heavy service.
Warren, E., Parry, O., Buchanan, J., & Ifans, J. (2008) 'I’ll (not) see you in court: family dispute resolution in North Wales'. Research Policy and Planning, 26(3), 143-155
Digital Commons Citation
Warren, Emily; Parry, Odette; Buchanan, Julian; and Ifans, Jonquil, "I’ll (not) see you in court: family dispute resolution in North Wales" (2008). Social Inclusion Research Unit. Paper 10.