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Mental Health and Family Law


The papers of the 2009 Interdisciplinary Conference at Dartington Hall

Paperback i

Book printed softcover

Mental Health and Family Law is the result of the 2009 Interdisciplinary Conference held at Dartington Hall. The Conference assembled a uniquely qualified group of contributors, drawn from the many professions involved in the work of the family justice system. This book brings together their papers and provides a detailed examination of the latest theory and practice in respect of:
  • Parental mental health and its impact on children
  • Assessing and representing parents with mental health issues
  • Specific issues relevant to mental health
  • Children's mental health problems
  • Intervention options
  • Responsibilities in relation to services to children and parents

See all Dartington Books.

PLENARY 1 - Parental Mental Health and its Impact on Children

  • Clinical Psychopathy, Personality Disorder and Risk of Intra-Familial Violence
    Professor Jane L Ireland and Dr Nicola Graham-Kevan
  • Working with Families Where a Parent has Mental Health Problems: Risks, Opportunities and Challenges
    Dr Diana Cassell
  • The Family Drug and Alcohol Court: A New Approach to Safeguarding the Children of Parents who Abuse Drugs and Alcohol
    Dr Mike Shaw

PLENARY 2 - Assessing and Representing Parents with Mental Health Issues

  • Assessment and Decision Making - Paralysis in the Family and Professional System in Parents with Personality Disorder
    Minna Daum
  • Representation of Parents with Mental Health Issues
    Peggy Ekeledo, Burke Niazi, Janice Kaufman and Helen Clift
  • CaringintheFamily
    Ann Tucker

PLENARY 3 - Specific Issues Relevant to Mental Health

  • Young Carers - or Children in Need of Care? Decision Making for Children of Parents with Mental Health Problems
    Professor Gillian Schofield and Dr Judi Walsh
  • Culture in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
    Dr Nisha Dogra

PLENARY 4 - Children’s Mental Health Problems – Nature, nature and Nurture, and Nurture

  • Nature Nurture: Childhood Mental Health Disorders Issues Relevant to Decision Making in the Courts
    Dr Claire Sturge
  • Parenting Shortcomings that Lead to Mental Health Problems for Children - Attachment Issues, Abuse And Neglect
    Dr Danya Glaser

PLENARY 5 - Intervention Option

  • Therapeutic Support for Parents with Mental Disorders - Focus on Neurodevelopmental Disorders (Learning Disabilities, Autism, ADHD)
    Dr Kiriakos Xenitidis, Dr James Jeffs and Dr Sally Cubbin
  • Therapeutic Support for Children and Young People during Proceedings and in Short-Term Placements
    Dr David Lucey
  • Entrenched Parental Positions Post-Separation - Do they amount to a Mental Health Disorder and how can they be Treated?
    Dr Eia Asen

PLENARY 6 - Responsibilities in Relation to Services to Children and Parents

  • Supporting the Future or 'Too Little Too Late?' - A Judicial Perspective
    HHJ Angela Nield
  • Reclaiming Social Work - Keeping Families Together
    Isabelle Trowler and Steve Goodman
  • A Partnership Approach to the Delivery of CAMHS and Children's Social Care Services
    Karin Courtman and Sandie Chatterton

PLENARY 7 – Conference Action Points

  • Conference Resolutions
Although spoilt by attending all of the Dartington Conferences, I am each time impressed by the commitment of those who take part, and by the lively and thought-provoking exchanges the interdisciplinary environment promotes.

Mental health issues permeate the family law system. When the court is faced with parents or children with mental health difficulties it calls on the expertise of a wide range of specialists, working across various disciplines to try and help the family. At the Dartington Conference delegates from those disciplines join those who have carefully prepared the papers in this volume. Over 3 days we discuss important themes, and share our expertise and practical experiences of working with families. Together we formulate resolutions that reflect the consensus reached, and which we hope will inform the work of the Family Justice Council, Ministry of Justice, Department for Children Schools and Families and Local Authorities across the country.

I am grateful to all those that have contributed to this work, to Marina Faggionato for collating the conference materials and to Jordans for publishing them. I hope that this volume will be widely read and that the work of the Conference reaches all those involved in the family justice system.

The Rt Hon Lord Justice Thorpe
March 2010

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