Q & A – When do Child Protective Services Intervene?

There are many different situations that could prompt a referral to child protective services in the UK. Here are some examples of children who may be in need of child protection services:

  1. A child who has been physically abused – This could include a child who has been beaten, slapped, or otherwise physically harmed by a caregiver.
  2. A child who has been sexually abused – This could include a child who has been sexually assaulted or abused by a caregiver or other person in a position of authority.
  3. A child who has been neglected – This could include a child who is not receiving adequate food, clothing, or medical care, or who is not being adequately supervised.
  4. A child who is living in a home with domestic violence – This could include a child who is exposed to domestic violence between their parents or other caregivers.
  5. A child who is living in a home with drug or alcohol abuse – This could include a child who is exposed to drug or alcohol abuse by their parents or other caregivers.
  6. A child who is living in a home with severe mental illness – This could include a child who is living with a parent or caregiver who has severe mental health issues and is unable to provide adequate care.
  7. A child who is at risk of harm from a caregiver – This could include a child who is living with a parent or caregiver who has a history of violence, substance abuse, or neglect.

In each of these situations, child protective services would be responsible for investigating the situation and taking appropriate action to ensure the child’s safety and wellbeing. This may involve working with the family to address any underlying issues, or removing the child from the home if necessary.

Q & A – What is child protection in the UK?

Child protection in the UK refers to the actions taken to safeguard children who may be at risk of harm or abuse. Child protection is a crucial aspect of social services in the UK and involves a wide range of professionals, including social workers, healthcare professionals, and police officers.

The main aim of child protection is to ensure that children are safe and protected from harm. This can involve a range of interventions, depending on the specific circumstances, including:

  1. Risk assessments – When concerns are raised about a child’s welfare, social workers will conduct a risk assessment to determine the level of risk to the child and what needs to be done to safeguard them.
  2. Child protection plans – If a child is deemed to be at risk of harm, a child protection plan may be put in place. This will set out the steps that need to be taken to safeguard the child, including any support or interventions that are needed.
  3. Removal from the family home – In cases where a child is at immediate risk of harm, they may be removed from their family home and placed in temporary accommodation, such as a foster home.
  4. Criminal investigations and prosecutions – If abuse or neglect is suspected, the police may launch a criminal investigation and prosecute the perpetrators.
  5. Support for families – In some cases, families may need support to help them provide a safe and nurturing environment for their children. This can include parenting classes, counseling, and support with housing or finances.

Overall, child protection in the UK is a collaborative effort between a range of professionals and agencies, with the aim of ensuring that children are protected from harm and are able to grow up in a safe and nurturing environment.

Q & A – How can Social Services Help Me?

In the UK, social services are typically provided by local authorities, which are responsible for ensuring that vulnerable individuals and families in their area have access to the support they need. This support can be provided through a variety of different services, including:

  1. Children’s services – These services are responsible for protecting children from harm and supporting families to provide a safe and nurturing environment for their children.
  2. Adult social care – These services provide support to older people, people with disabilities, and others who need help with daily living tasks, such as bathing, dressing, and cooking.
  3. Housing support – These services provide support to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, including help finding and maintaining suitable housing.
  4. Support for people with disabilities – These services provide support to people with disabilities, including help with accessing employment, education, and healthcare.
  5. Mental health services – These services provide support to people with mental health problems, including counseling, therapy, and medication.

To access social services in the UK, individuals and families can usually contact their local authority’s social services department directly. Alternatively, they may be referred to social services by a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or nurse. Social services will then assess the individual’s needs and provide appropriate support and assistance.


Cafcass continues to manage a higher number of children’s cases. The number of active open children’s cases at the end of January 2023 was 33,240, which is 10.3% higher than it was in March 2020. The prioritisation protocol evaluation report noted that the Covid-19 pandemic amplified pressures across the Family Justice System that were “already building before it began”.

A Focused Visit by Ofsted in January, which examined how Cafcass has managed increased demand, found that the quality of practice had been maintained and, in some areas, further improved.


Q & A – I am going to court what is relevant and admissible evidence?

In legal contexts, relevant and admissible evidence refers to evidence that is deemed appropriate and permissible in a court of law.

Relevant evidence is evidence that tends to prove or disprove a fact in question in a legal case. For example, in a criminal case, evidence that a defendant was seen at the scene of a crime would be relevant evidence.

Admissible evidence is evidence that is allowed to be presented in court according to the rules of evidence. The rules of evidence govern what types of evidence are admissible and how they can be presented in court. For example, hearsay evidence, which is second-hand information that is offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted, is generally not admissible in court unless an exception to the hearsay rule applies.

To determine whether evidence is relevant and admissible, courts will consider factors such as whether the evidence is reliable, whether it was obtained legally, and whether it has any prejudicial effects that outweigh its probative value. It is up to the parties in a legal case to argue for or against the admission of certain evidence, and ultimately it is up to the judge to make a ruling on whether the evidence is relevant and admissible.

©Linda Turner http://parentalalienationpas.com 2023

When a parent ignores court order for shared parenting


When a parent ignores a court order for shared parenting, they may be in contempt of court. Contempt of court is a legal term that refers to the willful disregard or disobedience of a court order or directive.

If one parent fails to comply with a court order for shared parenting, the other parent may file a motion for contempt with the court. The court may then schedule a hearing to determine whether the parent is in contempt and what sanctions or penalties should be imposed.

The sanctions for contempt of court can vary depending on the circumstances and the severity of the violation. The court may order the non-compliant parent to pay fines or court costs, complete community service, or even face imprisonment. The court may also modify the parenting plan or custody arrangement to address the non-compliance and ensure the best interests of the child.

It’s important to note that if a parent is having difficulty complying with a court order for shared parenting, they may be able to seek a modification of the order. A modification may be appropriate if there has been a significant change in circumstances, such as a relocation or a change in work schedule, that makes it difficult to comply with the existing order.

In any case, it’s essential to work with an experienced family law attorney who can help navigate the legal system and protect the best interests of the child.

©Linda Turner http://parentalalienationpas.com 2023

Custody cases and family court

Custody cases are legal proceedings in family court that determine which parent or guardian will have legal and physical custody of a child or children. These cases can be highly emotional and contentious, and they typically involve complex legal, social, and psychological issues.

In custody cases, the court considers several factors, such as the child’s age, gender, health, and educational needs, as well as the parents’ ability to provide a stable home environment, maintain a positive relationship with the child, and meet the child’s emotional and physical needs. The court may also consider any evidence of abuse or neglect, substance abuse, mental health issues, and other relevant factors that may impact the child’s welfare.

In many custody cases, the court may order a psychological evaluation or assessment of the child or parents by a qualified mental health professional. The assessment may include interviews, observations, and standardized psychological tests to evaluate the mental health, emotional functioning, and parenting abilities of the parties involved.

The psychological assessment can provide valuable information to the court and help inform custody decisions, such as determining the child’s best interests and the most appropriate custody arrangement. The assessment can also help identify any underlying mental health or behavioral issues that may require treatment or support.

Overall, custody cases in family court can be complex and emotionally charged, and they typically involve a range of legal, social, and psychological factors. The court’s primary goal is to make decisions that are in the best interests of the child, and psychological assessments can provide valuable information to help inform these decisions;

©Linda Turner http://parentalalienationpas.com 2023

Experts in the Family Court

Association of Child Psychotherapists

The UK Council of Psychotherapy

The British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy;

The British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies;

The British Psychoanalytic Council.amily

Beck Youth Inventories

The Beck Youth Inventories (BYI) are a set of standardized self-report questionnaires designed to assess emotional and behavioral problems in children and adolescents aged 7 to 18 years old. The inventories were developed by Aaron T. Beck, a prominent psychologist and pioneer in the field of cognitive therapy, and his colleagues.

The BYI includes five inventories that assess specific domains of emotional and behavioral functioning, including depression, anxiety, anger, disruptive behavior, and self-concept. Each inventory consists of 20 multiple-choice questions, and the inventories can be administered individually or as a set.

The BYI yields several scores for each inventory, including raw scores, T-scores, and percentile ranks. The scores can be used to identify emotional and behavioral problems, monitor progress in treatment, and inform treatment planning.

The BYI is designed to be self-administered and is available in paper-and-pencil or computerized formats. The inventories have undergone extensive research and validation to ensure their reliability and validity across diverse populations, and they are widely used in educational, clinical, and research settings.

Overall, the Beck Youth Inventories are a widely used and well-regarded set of assessment tools that provide valuable information about emotional and behavioral functioning in children and adolescents, which can inform treatment planning and intervention.


©Linda Turner http://parentalalienationpas.com 2023

Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scales

The Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (VABS) is a standardized assessment tool used to measure adaptive behavior and skills in individuals from birth through adulthood. The VABS is widely used by psychologists, educators, and clinicians to evaluate the functional abilities and daily living skills of individuals with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, and other conditions.

The VABS measures adaptive behaviors across several domains, including communication, daily living skills, socialization, and motor skills. The test is designed to be administered by a trained professional, and it involves interviews with the individual or their caregivers, as well as direct observations of the individual’s behavior.

The VABS provides a comprehensive evaluation of an individual’s adaptive behavior, including their strengths and areas of need. The test yields several scores, including standard scores, percentile ranks, and age-equivalent scores, which can help identify areas for intervention and inform treatment planning.

The VABS has undergone extensive research and validation to ensure its reliability and validity across diverse populations, and it is available in several languages. The assessment tool is widely used in educational, clinical, and research settings to evaluate the adaptive functioning of individuals and inform treatment planning.

Overall, the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales is a widely used and well-regarded assessment tool that provides valuable information about an individual’s adaptive behavior and skills, which can inform intervention and treatment planning in a variety of settings.

©Linda Turner http://parentalalienationpas.com 2023

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