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Children and Their Families

Contact, Rights and Welfare

Editor(s): Andrew Bainham, Bridget Lindley, Martin Richards, Liz Trinder
Media of Children and Their Families
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Published: 07-09-2003
Format: PDF eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 430
ISBN: 9781847312525
Imprint: Hart Publishing
RRP: £49.49
Online price : £39.59
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Loren Epson

About Children and Their Families

This book is concerned with the regulation of family relationships,in particular the issue of openness and contact in the many different family situations in which it may arise. The shift towards a presumption of contact, and its articulation within diverse fields of family law and practice raises a whole series of questions which this book seeks to explore. For example: Why has the contact presumption emerged? What is meant by contact, and with whom. What is the value and purpose of it? What
makes it work or not work? What is the role of law and other forms of external intervention in promoting, regulating or facilitating contact and to what extent should 'familial' relationships be subject to state regulation? More broadly, what can we infer about current conceptualisations of family, parenting (and the relative importance of social and biological parenthood) and childhood from policy and practice towards contact?

These and other questions were explored in a series of seminars organised by the Cambridge Socio-Legal Group in 2002. The book is the product of these seminars.

Andrew Bainham, Belinda Brooks-Gordon, Ann Buchanan, Shelley Day Sclater, Judy Dunn, John Eekelaar, Bob Geldof, Jonathan Herring, Claire Hughes, Joan Hunt, Adrian James, Julie Jessop, Felicity Kaganas, Bridget Lindley, Mavis Maclean, Joanna Miles, Katrin Mueller-Johnson, Elsbeth Neil, Jan Pryor, Martin Richards, Bob Simpson, Donna Smith, Liz Trinder

Table Of Contents

1.Introduction – Liz Trinder
Section 1: Children and their Families
2.Contact and Children's Perspectives on Parental Relationships – Judy Dunn
3.Making and Breaking Relationships: Children and their Families – Claire Hughes
4.Children's Contact with Relatives – Jan Pryor
Section 2: The Law and its Limits
5. Contact as a Right and Obligation – Andrew Bainham
6.Connecting Contact: Contact in a Private Law Context – Jonathan Herring
7.Supporting Cross-Household Parenting: Ideas about 'the family',Policy Formation and Service Development across Jurisdictions – Mavis Maclean and Katrin Mueller-Johnson
8.Squaring the Circle – the Social, Legal and Welfare Organisation of Contact – Adrian James
Section 3: Mothers, Fathers and Children
9. Contact: Mothers, Welfare and Rights – Shelley Day Sclater and Felicity Kaganas
10. The Real Love that Dare Not Speak its Name – Bob Geldof
11.Father after Divorce – Bob Simpson, Julie Jessop and Peter McCarthy
Section 4: The Hand of the State
12.Contact for Children Subject to State Intervention – Jo Miles and Bridget Lindley
13.Contact and the Adoption Reform – John Eekelaar
14.Adoption and Contact: A Research Review – Elspeth Neil
Section 5: Challenging Contact
15.Assisted Reproduction and Parental Relationships – Martin Richards
16.Contact in Containment – Belinda Brooks-Gordon
17.Making Contact Work in International Cases: Promoting Contact Whilst Preventing International Parental Child Abduction – Donna Smith
18.Disputed Contact Cases in the Courts – Ann Buchanan and Joan Hunt
19.Working and Not Working Contact after Divorce – Liz Trinder


“...valuable insights on the law, government policy, and sociological research, as well as a topical consumer critique of the family law system.” –  Helen Rhoades, The University of Melbourne, International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family

“…essential reading for parents and professionals, as it explores the meaning and significance of parent-child relationships after family breakdown An informative and inspirational book for all who care about the well-being of this nation's children.” –  David Cannon, Shared Parenting Information Group

“This collection of essays offers valuable insights into different aspects of contact to all those working with families experiencing separation.” –  ChildRIGHT

“The major benefit of this book for me was to highlight the tensions within the different disciplinary perspectives that both explain and complicate the problematic area of continuing contact with children in families that, for whatever reason, become disrupted.

The book contains a wealth of data, research studies, literature, ideas and arguments that should be valuable to practitioners as well as academics seeking to engage with the current issues.

” –  Fiona Raitt, Scolag Legal Journal

“The issue of contact is explored in depth from a variety of perspectives, and results in an informative and compelling read. . . . Family court advisers across the board are likely to find topics and themes that will inform and potentially enhance their professional skills, knowledge and practice. It is the sort of operational and professional issue that CAFCASS, as a social work agency, ought to think long and hard about. All CAFCASS offices should have access to a copy of this book.” –  Jim Lawson, Family Court Adviser, Family Court Journal

“…this collection provides a good review of the social, legal and psychological research that demonstrates the complicated issues faced by the law, by policy-makers and particularly by family members as they come to define and express their children's welfare in the context of contact.” –  Alison Diduck, University College London, The British Journal of Sociology

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