A government pilot scheme to resolve contact disputes between separated parents was blighted by a lack of local leadership and poor communication between professionals, research published last week by the government shows.
None of the three family resolution pilot projects, in Brighton, inner London and Sunderland, had a local management committee to govern the programme, an evaluation from the University of East Anglia finds.
And in no area did all the relevant professional groups – the judiciary, lawyers, the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service and Relate – ever meet together.
This contributed to the low number of referrals to the pilots – 62 – and the fact that only half of these completed the programme.
A parallel study on in-court conciliation schemes, in which parents are brought together in court to try to agree on contact arrangements, finds that 76 per cent of parents reached agreement and 62 per cent of these were satisfied.
Evaluation of the Family Resolutions Pilot Project