It has recently been announced that from Spring 2018, Cafcass will be piloting a new process called the ‘ High Conflict Practice Pathway’. The guidance details the steps social workers are to take when dealing with suspected parental alienation.
What is ‘parental alienation’ ?
Parental alienation is defined as one parent influencing, manipulating, or ‘poisoning’ a child against the other parent. It is a distinctive type of psychological abuse rather than the acrimony which may often occur following separation.
Worryingly, Cafcass have said that parental alienation occurs in a significant number of the 125,000.00 cases that are dealt with each year. It is thought that parental alienation is present in 11% to 15% of divorces involving children, a figure which is thought to be on the rise.
Families on the High Conflict Practice Pathway might benefit from a 12 week intense programme called Positive Parenting. The programme will largely focus upon the alienating parent putting themselves in their child’s position, by providing them with skills to break such behaviours and promote a healthy relationship with the other parent.
Initially, the programme will be tested on 50 high-conflict families across the country and depending upon the success it will then be rolled out nationwide.
If the parent concerned does not change their behaviour, contact between that parent and child could be restricted or refused for a number of months. In the most extreme cases, the alienating parent could be permanently refused from having any contact with the child concerned.
At Slater Heelis we are focused entirely on achieving the best outcome for you—and our experience and level of commitment is second-to-none. Several of our family solicitors are ranked as leading individuals and recommended lawyers in the authoritative UK legal directories (Legal 500 and Chambers) and all of our family solicitors adhere to the Resolution Code of Practice, which means that they will work with you to resolve your case in a constructive and non-confrontational way.
To get in touch, just call 0161 969 3131 or email a member of the team.