Maintaining links between parents and children

Those working with parents who have experienced recurrent care proceedings find that supporting those parents in maintaining good quality contact with the children separated from them is a key part of the work they do with parents. Research has also demonstrated how important the status of parenthood is to parents who have lost their children to care or adoption.

The Nuffield Family Justice Observatory published a number of helpful reports about contact in 2020. The messages from the research will be relevant for those working with parents and providing the support they need to make sure the contact is enjoyable and of good quality.  The reports available are:

  • This short briefing contains the key messages from the research. (Length: 8 minute read). 
  • An evidence review synthesising findings from 49 national and international studies on contact, with a focus on what is known about the implications of contact for the wellbeing of children and young people who have been separated from their birth parents.
  • A rapid evidence review that examined what is known about the implications of digital contact on the wellbeing of children who have been separated from their birth relatives. The review was commissioned following the implementation of social distancing measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the UK in March 2020.
  • A rapid research project carried out after the first lockdown in March 2020 to try to urgently understand what means agencies were putting in place to support children to keep in touch with their birth families, and how this was working – especially for children.

Supporting mothers with farewell contact sessions

Karen Egan and Fiona Williams from Reflect, Positive Steps in Swansea talk about how they support mothers with farewell contact sessions when their children are going to be adopted.
(Length: 20 minutes)



Video presentations, slides, published papers and other documents. Including resources developed by parents.
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