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Risk, with its concern for investment in the future, is now a ubiquitous concept in many areas of policy and practice. This article traces the development of the investment agenda - with its focus on prevention and parental responsibility - in relation to children's services, child protection and youth justice before suggesting that the family courts, dealing with private law cases, have also internalised the management of future risks as all important. To do so the article focuses on contact and paternity cases to argue that the reduction of particular risks to the child's future psychological well-being now outweighs current distress and other relevant factors in judicial decisions about the welfare of the child. Given that such a priority is not supported, as claimed, by clear and undisputed scientific knowledge, this is a trend which merits further attention.
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