Resources for assessing child refusal/resistance
When a child is resisting or refusing time with a parent/carer post-separation, there may be a number of causes for this. This guide describes the range of potential causes for the resistance and/or refusal, and supports exploration of the impact on the child of adult behaviours, including alienation. It also provides guidance on children’s wishes and feelings and making recommendations to court in these circumstances.
Our Family Court Advisers consider the intensity of the parental behaviours alongside the impact of these behaviours on the child.
Tools and guidance
Guidance on use
Assessing children’s and young people’s wishes and feelings guidance Private law: This guidance addresses best practice when listening to and analysing children and young people’s wishes and feelings, to help practitioners consider what arrangements are in the child’s best interests. Cafcass Alienating Behaviours Thinking Tool Private law: This is an analytical tool to be used by practitioners after they have completed interviews with parents and children and obtained a range of other information such as from the school, police and LA. Based on this information, FCAs can click on ‘choose an item’ to indicate the frequency of alienating behaviours. Cafcass Recommendations for the child when alienation is a factor guidance Private law: This guidance provides advice for recommendations on cases where the assessment indicates that the child is being harmed by alienating behaviour (or the court have found facts regarding this) and that this behaviour cannot be curbed. Cafcass Children’s beliefs about parental divorce tool Private law: To be used when working with children to understanding their beliefs about their parents’ divorce. Kurdek and Berg (1987)