Welcome to Learn on the go, a Community Care Inform podcast where we discuss what the latest research, practice models and policy guidance mean to your practice.
In this episode, we discuss the complicated and sometimes controversial topic of parental alienation.
The experts are Sarah Parsons, principal social worker and assistant director at Cafcass, the Child and Family Court Advisory and Support Service in England, and Julie Doughty, lecturer in law at Cardiff University. Julie, along with Nina Maxwell and Thomas Slater, conducted a review of research and case law on parental alienation for Cafcass Cymru in 2018.
1:27 – 4:30 on the podcast: Sarah and Julie discuss what parental alienation is, different definitions in the research literature and how it differs from other terms like implacable hostility.
12:53 – 18:31 on the podcast: Sarah considers the signs that parental alienation might be taking place, such as a child’s use of language or one parent constantly badmouthing the other.
“The law in England and Wales is quite clear that it’s in children’s welfare to have continuing relationships with both parents. That is what the court will expect. So if contact with the non-resident parent is safe, that is what the court will expect to happen, and therefore the reasons for a child rejecting that would need to be looked into.” Julie Doughty
22:23 – end of podcast: Sarah and Julie give the key messages social workers should take into their practice.
Baker, A (accessed 2018)
Doughty, J; Maxwell, M and Slater, T (2018)
Review of research and case law on parental alienation
Cardiff: Welsh Government
Re J  EWCA Civ 115, paras 83-84, Court of Appeal, Lord Justice McFarlane, Lady Justice King
Re L & Ors (Children)  EWCA Civ 194, Court of Appeal, Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, Lord Justice Thorpe, Lord Justice Waller
Women’s Aid and Queen Mary (2018)
‘What about my right not to be abused?’ Domestic abuse, human rights and the family courts