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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

01 AUG 2013

Decision making within a child's timescale: who decides?

Edward Lloyd-Jones

Barrister, 14 Gray's Inn Square, London.

In May 2013, Edward Lloyd-Jones' chambers at 14 Gray's Inn Square organised a seminar on ‘The child's timeframe: what the neuroscience really says' featuring Susan White, Professor of Social Work at Birmingham University and David Wastell, Professor of Information Systems at Nottingham University. In a paper which formed the basis of the presentation, White and Wastell had critiqued Decision-making within a child's timeframe - an overview of current research evidence for family justice professionals concerning child development and the impact of maltreatment by researchers Rebecca Brown and Harriet Ward and which is now used in judicial training. This article summarises the presentation and considers the ramifications for children proceedings.

Decision-Making within a Child's Timeframe was commissioned in response to the Family Justice Review recommendation for consistent training and development for family justice professionals including greater emphasis on child development. It is a summary of recent research designed to provide up to date material regarding the impact of adversity on child development and the likely outcome for the child. As practitioners may be aware, a number of papers have been circulated questioning the value of this research overview and Family Law will be publishing a formal response by Harriet Ward and Rebecca Brown to the issues raised in the September issue.

The full version of this article appears in the August 2013 issue of Family Law.   

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