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Towards a Family Justice Observatory A scoping study

Main Findings Report of the National Stakeholder Consultation

In 2015, the Nuffield Foundation set out the preliminary case for a new family justice observatory in response to long-standing concerns that family justice policy and practice is insufficiently informed by robust research evidence.

A background document produced by the Foundation described the variety of ways in which the broader social science or child welfare research evidence might complement legal knowledge, in the effective delivery of family justice policy and practice.

This report presents the findings from the first consultation with stakeholders conducted between August 2016 and March 2017 as part of a multi-stage scoping study funded by the Nuffield Foundation. The study will shape the design of a new family justice observatory for England and Wales.

A broad range of stakeholders were consulted through a call for evidence. In addition a series of focus groups were held with frontline practitioners, judges, children and young people, parents and kinship carers.

The consultation sought to understand:

  • The research evidence needs of stakeholders;
  • The opportunities and barriers to the application of research evidence in policy and practice;
  • Stakeholder priorities for new research;
  • Stakeholder priorities for a family justice observatory.