March 7, 2016

Latest News

4th October 2017

Vulnerable Birth Mothers and Recurrent Care Proceedings Final Report Launch

The Centre for Child and Family Justice Research are launching the final report of their Nuffield funded birth mothers and recurrent care proceedings study today, at the Friends Meeting House, Euston Road, London. Afternoon workshops led by experts in the field will consider the practice and policy implications of the particular issues raised in the findings report, and the day will end with an expert panel discussion.

The final summary report can be read here, and other articles and publications relating to the project can be found here.

The Vulnerable Birth Mothers and Recurrent Care Proceedings Project has been funded by the Nuffield Foundation. The project was carried out by Lancaster University in partnership with The Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust and developed in collaboration with a network of practice agencies. The project has been fully supported by the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS). Local Authority partners are Coventry City Council; Lancashire County Council; Salford City Council; LB Southwark; and the Tri-borough London.

19th September 2017

Vulnerable Birth Mothers and Recurrent Care Proceedings Final Report Launch – Fully Booked

The launch of the final report of the Nuffield funded birth mothers and recurrent care proceedings study on 4th October is now fully booked.

31st May 2017

New Blog Post by Dr Chris Grover – Social security policy for working age families: what the 2017 General Election manifestos say

In this blog Chris Grover examines what the manifestos of the Conservative, Green, Labour, Liberal Democrat and the Scottish Nationalist parties, and Plaid Cymru and UKIP say about social security policy for working age families.

Read the blog post here

19th May 2017

New Grant Awarded from the Nuffield Foundation

Professor Karen Broadhurst and Dr. Yang Hu, working in partnership with a team from the University of East Anglia led by Professor Marian Brandon, have been awarded a new £411k research grant from the Nuffield Foundation. This new project will establish the first nationally representative survey of fathers in family court proceedings. The two-year project will commence in August 2017.

4th April 2017

New paper published: Birth Parents and the Collateral Consequences of Court-ordered Child Removal: Towards a Comprehensive Framework

Professor Karen Broadhurst and Claire Mason, from the Centre for Child and Family Justice Research at Lancaster University, have a new article in the April 2017 edition of the International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family. The paper“…aims to capture the full range of consequences that birth parents face, following court-ordered removal of their children on account of child protection concerns. With references to legislative and policy responses in England, the USA, and Australia, [the authors] argue that states reinforce parents’ exclusion, where the full gamut of challenges these parents face is poorly understood.” 

The article can be read on the journal website here.

1st March 2017

New article published – What are our obligations to care leavers who lose their own infants and children to the State?

Professor Karen Broadhurst, Claire Mason and Dr. Stuart Bedston, from the Centre for Child and Family Justice Research at Lancaster University, set out arguments based on research from the national study of recurrent care proceedings (funded by the Nuffield Foundation), in support of a proposed amendment to the Children and Social Work Bill. The article can be read on our blog pages at this link.


23rd February 2017

Rising Care Demand – Answering the President’s Questions at a Nuffield Foundation Day Conference

Watch this space for short report from this event – how can we interrupt a looming crisis in the family courts…..


22nd February 2017

Transnational Family Justice in Migration Crises – the Sociological Review Seminar Series 2017

Colleagues from the Centre have been awarded a grant to host a seminar on ‘Transnational Family Justice in Migration Crises’. This event is part of the Sociological Review Research Seminar Series and has been funded by The Sociological Review Foundation. The seminar will take place at Lancaster University this summer.


8th February 2017:

Welcome to visiting scholar Dr Miao Chunfeng


The Centre for Child and Family Justice Research welcomes visiting scholar Dr Miao Chunfeng for 12 months. Chunfeng is sponsored by the Chinese Social Science Foundation.





23rd January 2017:

Using population level data to understand the family justice system – UCL and Lancaster partner at exciting event at the Farr Institute 30th Jan 2017

This one-day symposium at the Farr Institute brings together scholars interested in using administrative data to improve the evidence base for family justice policy and practice.

We are delighted that the Troubled Family’s Team can join us, along with a great turnout of other experts.

This is an opportunity to discuss how learning from this event might inform the development of Nuffield’s proposed new family justice observatory.


6th October 2016

New Blog Post: Researching family mediation: challenges and opportunities

We are delighted and honoured that Mavis Maclean CBE (University of Oxford) has blogged about her research in the field of family mediation. Click on our blog page to read the fascinating post by Mavis.


22nd June 2016:

Two New Blog Posts: Family Benefits

Two linked blog posts by Chris Grover about Family Benefits. Go to our blog page, or follow these direct links:

  1. How in Britain ‘family benefits’ became payable to mothers: service to nation, problem of wages and dependency
  2. From an ‘endowment for motherhood’ to a male breadwinner wage: ‘family benefits’ as a wage supplement

17th April 2016:

New Blog Post: Child Sexual Exploitation

Highly informative blog post from Suzanne Ost and Jamie Lee Mooney: go to our Blog page for: Child Sexual Exploitation: Sketching the Parameters of a Complex Phenomenon

7th March 2016:

worker-150Professor Karen Broadhurst to Lead National Family Justice Observatory Scoping Study

The Nuffield Foundation has appointed a team from Lancaster University and the Alliance for Useful Evidence to undertake a scoping study that will establish the purpose, functions, and delivery options for a national family justice observatory.

Professor Karen Broadhurst from Lancaster University will lead the team, which will begin the 18-month study on 1 June 2016. Experts in family justice from outside the two institutions will also contribute.

The study will comprise a national consultation with the field, through a call for evidence, a series of focus groups and interviews. In addition, the team will review existing  observatories in the UK and overseas. A major component of the work will be to scope data sources and address the technical and governance issues that currently stand in the way of better use of administrative, survey and cohort datasets for research.

 The need for a family justice observatory

The study is part of a project led by the Foundation to improve the generation and application of research in the family justice system. Earlier work has identified the need for an observatory to ensure that participants in the family justice system have access to a) reliable research to inform analysis of options for specific cases, and b) system performance data to assist in the allocation of resources and the development of new services and interventions. The observatory could be a single institution, but is more likely to be a consortium of organisations.

Professor Broadhurst, was appointed to lead the study,  following a competitive tender. A more detailed description of the scoping study, including details of the wider team will be published in May 2016.