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The practice aids below are derived from a range of sources and some are not Cafcass original documents. Each practice aid has been identified for use by Cafcass staff. Information on the source of each document is referenced in the further information section below. 

Resources for assessing harmful conflict

Harmful conflict can lead to poor outcomes for children and this guide supports the assessment of this, and provides information on the range of interventions to support successful co-parenting post-separation, if this is a safe scenario for the children. It is important to distinguish between harmful conflict and domestic abuse within our cases, and for our Family Court Advisers (FCAs) to assess the impact of harmful conflict on the child involved. Our FCAs consider the severity of the parental behaviours alongside the impact of these behaviours on the child using the same scale

Practice aids and guidance

Read the harmful conflict guide.

ResourceGuidance on useSource
Dispute resolution skills and techniques guidancePrivate law: This is a brief guide for Family Court Advisers (FCAs) undertaking dispute resolution (DR) work. It sets out some approaches that can help parents refocus on the child’s experience, rather than on their own conflict.Cafcass
Parenting styles practice aidPrivate law: This practice aid sets out how parenting style has a significant impact on children’s outcomes and tend to fit under one of four categories: authoritarian, authoritative, indulgent, and neglectful.Cafcass
Distinguishing domestic abuse and harmful conflict practice aidPrivate law: This practice aid is designed to be used early in the life of a case to assist the FCA in deciding which will be of most assistance in their assessment: the blue domestic abuse tools and guidance or the orange harmful conflict practice aids and guidance. It is not designed to be a diagnostic practice aid in and of itself and does not replace professional judgement.Cafcass
Cafcass Positive Co-parenting Programme suitability criteria practice aidPrivate law: FCAs can use this practice aid to assess the suitability of a case for the Cafcass Positive Parenting Programme (CPPP)Cafcass
Children’s beliefs about parental divorce practice aidPrivate law: To be used when working with children to understanding their beliefs about their parents’ divorce.Kurdek and Berg (1987)
Supervision of Children’s Arrangements – Assessing Relatives and Friends (SCAARF) practice aidPractice aid for assessing wider family and friends to support contact.Cafcass
Emotional Readiness Practice Aid

Private Law: This practice aid provides questions to assist the assessment of the level of emotional readiness that will impact on co-parenting (parenting together) and agreeing arrangements that best meets the needs of the child(ren).